The Muratorian Fragment: Text, Translation, Commentary 3161611748, 9783161611742, 9783161611759

This volume offers an introduction, critical edition, and fresh English translation of the Muratorian Fragment. In addit

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The Muratorian Fragment: Text, Translation, Commentary
 3161611748, 9783161611742, 9783161611759

Table of contents :
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
Chapter One: History, Genre, Text
A. Introduction
B. Problems in the Study of the Muratorian Fragment
Presumed Date(s) of Composition
C. Theoretical Issues
Text and Genre
Deciphering the Genre
Excursus: Decretum Gelasianum
Eucherius of Lyons
D. Text and Translation
Critical Edition
E. English Translation
Conspectus: Muratorian Fragment
F. Composition
Table 1. Ring Composition
G. Conclusion
Chapter Two: History of Scholarship
A. Introduction
B. Manuscript Discovery
1740–1840: Discovery and Initial Reaction
1840–1940: Renaissance of Interest
Tregelles’s Visit to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana
Excursus: Tregelles’s Letter to His Cousin
Brooke Foss Westcott (1825–1901)
Friedrich Hermann Hesse, Theodor Zahn, Gottfried Kuhn
Joseph Barber Lightfoot
August Reifferscheid, Guerrino Amelli, Carl Paul Caspari, Paolo Angelo Ballerini
Giovanni Mercati (1866–1957)
Cuthbert Hamilton Turner (1860–1930), John Chapman, O. S. B. (1865–1933), Edgar Simmons Buchanan (1872–1932), Henri Leclerq (1869–1945)
Saverio Ritter, Agostino Saba
Excursus: Documentary Notes
Albert C. Sundberg Jr. (1921–2006)
Geoffrey M. Hahneman
Mirella Ferrari
Carolyn Osiek
William Horbury
C. Conclusion
Chapter Three: Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.
A. Introduction
B. Codicology of Codex Ambr. I 101 sup
Provenance: Bobbio Abbey
Excursus: Bobbio Catalogue
Excursus: Comparative Evidence
Physica Description, General Conditions, Appearance and Numbering of Leaves and Gatherings
Table 1. Elements of the Codex
Table 2. Quire Signatures in Ambr. I 101 sup
Table 3. Number of Lines per Page in the Muratorian Codex
Excursus: Computus
Tables of Contents of Codex Ambr. I 101 sup
Table 4. Monti’s Two Tables of Contents in Ambr. I 101 sup
Table 5. Comparison of Two Reports of Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup
C. Paleography and Orthography of Ambr. I 101 sup
Organizational Paratext, Ornamentation, Marginalia
D. Actual Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup
Table 6. Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup. (“Muratorian Codex”)
Discussion of the Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup
Table 7. Contents of the Muratorian Codex
Excursus: Anonymous, Abraham’s Sermon
Table 8. Pseudo-Augustine, Sermo 7 and the Sermo de Abraham
E. Conclusion
Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment
A. Introduction
B. The Fragment’s Language: A Brief History of the Debate
Julio Campos
Bilingual Case for Victorinus of Pettau
Greek Translation
Excursus: Victorinus, Comm. Apoc. 1.7 and the Muratorian Fragment
Table 1. Victorinus, Comm. Apoc. 1.7 and MF ll. 46–63
C. Medieval Manuscript Abbreviation Hypothesis
Abbreviation Systems
Major Abbreviation Symbols
Orthography at Monte Cassino
Hypothesis of an Abbreviated Archetype
Table 2. Hypothetical Reconstruction of the Fragment’s Abbreviated Archetype
Menda vera
Scribal Training
D. Ecclesiastica disciplina
E. Conclusion
Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment
A. Introduction
B. External Evidence
The Benedictine Prologues
Prologue Text
English Translation
Introduction in Monte Cassino 235 (C2)
C. Analysis
Table 1. Parallels between the Benedictine Prologues and the Muratorian Fragment
Table 2. Parallels between the Muratorian Fragment and the Benedictine Prologues
Table 3. Parallels Among the Four Benedictine Prologues
Table 4. Letter Lists Across the BPs
Adolf von Harnack
Ambrogio Maria Amelli
Euthalian Apparatus
Table 5. BPs, Euthalian Apparatus, Vulgate Preface to Paul’s Letters
Conclusion: Benedictine Prologues
Chromatius of Aquileia
Table 6. MF and Chromatius on Luke
Table 7. MF and Chromatius, Tract. Mat., prologue
Table 8. Regulae fidei
Anti-Marcionite Gospel Prologues
Monarchian Prologues
Table 9. Lukan Prologues
Table 10. Lukan Authorship in Four Witnesses
D. Conclusion
Table 11. The Muratorian Fragment and Biblical Prologues
Chapter Six: Commentary
A. Introduction
Extent and Significance of the Parallel Texts
B. Commentary
Table 1. Tregelles’s Discussion of Early Reconstructions of the Fragment’s First Line
Table 2. Distribution of Lines Dedicated to Individual Texts Listed in the Fragment
Excursus: Acts of Timothy
Table 3. Attestation of the Elements in the Johannine Legend
Regula fidei
Excursus: Diatessaron
1 John
Acts of All the Apostles
Letters of Paul
Excursus: “Schism of Heresy”
Two Spurious Letters
Jude and 2 Johannine Letters
Wisdom of Solomon
Three Apocalypses
Apocalypse of Peter
Shepherd of Hermas
Periodic Reading
Other Witnesses to the Fraternity Legend
Liberian Catalogue
Carmen adversus Marcionitas
Liber Pontificalis
Spurious Letters of Pius
Letter to All Churches about the Date of Easter
Letter to Justus of Vienne
Fraternity Legend and the Shepherd of Hermas
Excursus: We-Passages of the Muratorian Fragment
Catalogue of Heretical Texts
Table 4. Parallel Heretical Catalogues
C. Conclusion
Chapter Seven: A Star Rising in the Darkness
A. Results
B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts
Arithmology and the Medieval Church
Unification of the Church during the Fourth Century
Rufinus of Aquileia
Chromatius of Aquileia
Table 1. Ambrosiaster and the Fragment: Parallel Words and Phrases
Table 2. Fragment with Structural Conjunctions Highlighted
Excursus: Evagrius of Antioch
Concluding Remarks
A. Theories concerning the Authorship of the Muratorian Fragment
B. Two Letters by Antonio Maria Ceriani
C. Fragmentum Muratorianum Iuxta Codices Casinenses
D. Muratori’s Latin Introduction to the Fragment
E. English Translation of Muratori’s Introduction
F. Sermo de Abraham (Ambr. I 101 sup., fols. 72r–73r)
G. Synopsis of Reconstructions of a Hypothetical Greek Urtext
H. Five Regulae Fidei (“Statements of Faith”)
I. Lovers Doodle of the ‘Muratorian Codex’ (Ambr. I 101 sup.)
Table 1. Running Headers in Ambr. I 101 sup
Table 2. Liquid Damage
Index of Sources
Index of Modern Authors
Index of Subjects

Citation preview

Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum Studies and Texts in Antiquity and Christianity Herausgeber / Editors Liv Ingeborg Lied (Oslo) · Christoph Markschies (Berlin) Martin Wallraff (München) · Christian Wildberg (Pittsburgh) Beirat / Advisory Board Peter Brown (Princeton) · Susanna Elm (Berkeley) Johannes Hahn (Münster) · Emanuela Prinzivalli (Rom) Jörg Rüpke (Erfurt)


Clare K. Rothschild

The Muratorian Fragment Text, Translation, Commentary

Mohr Siebeck

Clare K. Rothschild, born 1964; 1986 BA University of California, Berkeley; 1992 MTS Harvard University; 2003 PhD University of Chicago; 2006 postdoctoral fellow Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; currently Professor of Scripture, Department of Theology, Lewis University (USA) and Professor Extraordinary, Department of Ancient Studies at Stellenbosch University (South Africa).

ISBN 978-3-16-161174-2 / eISBN 978-3-16-161175-9 DOI 10.1628/978-3-16-161175-9 ISSN 1436-3003 / eISSN 2568-7433 (Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum) Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliographie; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at © 2022  by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, Germany. This book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any form (beyond that permitted by copyright law) without the publisher’s written permission. This applies particularly to reproductions, translations and storage and processing in electronic systems. The book was typeset by Martin Fischer in Tübingen, printed on non-aging paper and bound by Gulde Druck in Tübingen. Printed in Germany.

For Hans Dieter Betz πόλλ᾽ οἶδ᾽ ἀλώπηξ, ἀλλ᾽ ἐχῖνος ἓν μέγα. Archilochus

Acknowledgments The idea for the present work began in a conversation at a tiny café (now gone!) beneath the viaduct at the 57th Street train station near the University of Chicago in Hyde Park. In the course of defending my conviction to Trevor Thompson that the author of Hebrews borrowed Paul’s identity, making the text pseudonymous, I acknowledged the fragility of the evidence for the theory that Hebrews was rejected in the West. “Among other problems,” I said, “it is just as likely that the Muratorian Fragment was written in the fourth as the second century.” Thompson smiled. “Or maybe, both are true,” he said. That moment inspired an SBL presentation in 2008 in which I attempted to raise suspicion – with anything but overwhelming success (Joseph Verheyden was my generous respondent)  – concerning the date and provenance of the Muratorian Fragment. Following the SBL, I planned to publish the thesis as an article but postponed the project because I felt that the next necessary step was to visit the Ambrosian Library in Milan. Subsequently, I learned that such a trip was unnecessary (immediately anyway) because the Ambrosian Library is available on microfilm at the University of Notre Dame. I contacted the exemplary Notre Dame librarian, Lou Jordan, who immediately shared with me the relevant microfilm pages. Examining them, my questions increased. I consulted Hans Dieter Betz (my Doktorvater at the University of Chicago) who advised me to confer with Michael I. Allen, Associate Professor in the Department of Classics and the College and in the Department of History at the University of Chicago. Reviewing the evidence, Michael advised me to write a monograph on the topic, which is where the project has stood for a decade. Although in the original SBL paper and its eventual publication (NovT 60 [2018]: 55–82), I attempt to establish the possibility that the Fragment is a Roman fake, the goal of this monograph is more comprehensive. In this book, I seek to provide access to the texts and contexts necessary for a biblical scholar to come to a decision about the Fragment’s authenticity. My goal is less to persuade readers of my own conclusions (revealed in Chapter 7) than to allow each, in as in­formed a manner as possible, to make up their own mind. Perhaps the most significant issue plaguing research on the Fragment is its disdain for boundaries. Proper examination of the Fragment encompasses at least three areas of research. First, most scholars interested in the Fragment work in New Testament, Early Christianity, and the Early Church. Second,



most scholars interested in the contents of its codex work in the area of Patristics and/or Late Antiquity. Finally, the codex itself (perhaps dated to the eighth century) is an object of interest to scholars working in Medieval History. Investigations of the Fragment frequently founder, not on their treatment of their area of expertise, but on their failure to interact with all pertinent areas of research. In the research for this monograph, I have become acutely aware of my inability to handle its scope – right to the brink of abandoning the project altogether. In the end, I settled for an attempt to write a meaningful study for the members of my own guild while attempting to situate or at least point to the larger contexts of individual arguments. With experts in New Testament and Early Christianity in mind, my goal is to equip readers to fairly assess as much data as possible. I offer translations of nearly all Latin and Italian texts as well as definitions of non-obvious codicological and paleographical terminology. I also provide dates of lesser-known figures from all periods of history and explanatory notes and excurses on topics sometimes obscure to NT/ECL scholars. Of specialists in these appertaining fields, I kindly request patience. When the study wanders into unknown territory, I have relied on experts and documented everything in the notes. I have earnestly endeavored to avoid errors by running nearly every aspect of the text by an expert in the relevant area. The inevitable mistakes are my own. Over the last decade, with each setback and crisis of confidence, a few stalwart colleagues remained by my side. First and foremost, the brilliant scholar and wise friend, R. Matthew Calhoun has offered advice on all portions of the manuscript. I also wish to extend sincere gratitude to participants of the various societies of which I am a member, in particular the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (SNTS) for which I delivered a version of this essay as a main paper at the Pretoria meeting in August 2017, receiving invaluable support, questions, and advice from a number of learned society members including Judith M. Lieu and Adela Y. Collins. In addition, I would like to thank those members of the Society of Biblical Literature, Chicago Society of Biblical Research, Midwest SBL, and Early Christian Studies Workshop who have interacted with me on this thesis, as well as others willing to dialogue with me by email, in particular Giovanni Bazzana (Harvard), Cilliers Breytenbach (Berlin), Elizabeth A. Castelli (Columbia), Paolo A. Cherchi (Milan), Stephen A. Cooper (Franklin & Marshall), Mariano Dellomo (Monte Cassino), Richard Guyg (Fordham), Hans-Josef Klauck (Chicago), David Martinez (Chicago), Margaret Mitchell (Chicago), Marco Rizzi (Milan), Johan Thom (Stellenbosch), Joseph Verheyden (Leuven), and Immo Warntjes (Dublin). Geoffrey M. Hahneman (Bridgeport, CT) and Lee Martin McDonald (Mesa, AZ) have been longstanding supporters of my work, offering hours of advice through email and personal discussion. I wish to thank Frances Spaltro (University of Chicago Laboratory Schools) for collaboration on Latin translations and Father David Monaco (Yonkers, NY ), who assisted in translations of Italian. In June 2019 Don Federico Gallo accept-



ed my request to see Ambr. I 101 sup. in Milan. My time in his library was unforgettable. I will always remain in his debt. Finally, the book would not be the same without the extremely generous assistance of Jeremy C. Thompson. It is not an exaggeration to say that, by the end, the findings of this book consist of our partnership. I am grateful to Henning Ziebritzki and Elena Müller at Mohr Siebeck for their interest in my work as well as to Christoph Markschies for his recommendation of the manuscript to the STAC series. The support team at Mohr Siebeck, in particular Matthias Spitzner, Tobias Stäbler, and Kendra Mäschke, as always, ably assisted in the production of this volume. I dedicate this book to my mentor and friend, Hans Dieter Betz (Chicago). He was in the audience at my first presentation on the topic at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in 2008. When the session ended, I reluctantly asked him what he thought. In his inimitable manner, he first repeated the question, “What do I think?” after which he replied, “I think that I will never speak of the Muratorian Fragment again.” As we discussed the project that evening Dieter advised me to carry out a comprehensive examination of the artifact. As one of my most ardent supporters and (as such) fiercest critics, I dedicate this work to him. My hope is that this study promotes new, ever more satisfying debates about the Fragment, stimulating respectful conversations about the questions it raises.

Table of Contents Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VII List of Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XVII Chapter One

History, Genre, Text A. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 B. Problems in the Study of the Muratorian Fragment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Presumed Date(s) of Composition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 C. Theoretical Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Text and Genre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Deciphering the Genre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Excursus: Decretum Gelasianum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Eucherius of Lyons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 D. Text and Translation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Critical Edition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 E. English Translation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Conspectus: Muratorian Fragment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 F. Composition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Table 1. Ring Composition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 G. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Chapter Two

History of Scholarship A. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 B. Manuscript Discovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 1740–1840: Discovery and Initial Reaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51


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1840–1940: Renaissance of Interest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Tregelles’s Visit to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Excursus: Tregelles’s Letter to His Cousin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Brooke Foss Westcott (1825–1901) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Friedrich Hermann Hesse, Theodor Zahn, Gottfried Kuhn . . . . . . 66 Joseph Barber Lightfoot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 August Reifferscheid, Guerrino Amelli, Carl Paul Caspari, Paolo Angelo Ballerini . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Giovanni Mercati (1866–1957) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Cuthbert Hamilton Turner (1860–1930), John Chapman, O. S. B. (1865–1933), Edgar Simmons Buchanan (1872–1932), Henri Leclerq (1869–1945) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Saverio Ritter, Agostino Saba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Excursus: Documentary Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 1940–Present . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Albert C. Sundberg Jr. (1921–2006) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Geoffrey M. Hahneman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Mirella Ferrari . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Carolyn Osiek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 William Horbury . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 C. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Chapter Three

Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup. A. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 B. Codicology of Codex Ambr. I 101 sup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Provenance: Bobbio Abbey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Excursus: Bobbio Catalogue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Excursus: Comparative Evidence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Physical Description, General Conditions, Appearance and Numbering of Leaves and Gatherings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Table 1. Elements of the Codex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 Table 2. Quire Signatures in Ambr. I 101 sup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Table 3. Number of Lines per Page in the Muratorian Codex . . . . . . . . . . 96 Excursus: Computus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Tables of Contents of Codex Ambr. I 101 sup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 Table 4. Monti’s Two Tables of Contents in Ambr. I 101 sup. . . . . . . . . . . 104 Table 5. Comparison of Two Reports of Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup. . . 108

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C. Paleography and Orthography of Ambr. I 101 sup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Organizational Paratext, Ornamentation, Marginalia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 Summation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 D. Actual Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 Table 6. Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup. (“Muratorian Codex”) . . . . . . . . . . 114 Discussion of the Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 Table 7. Contents of the Muratorian Codex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 Excursus: Anonymous, Abraham’s Sermon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 Table 8. Pseudo-Augustine, Sermo 7 and the Sermo de Abraham . . . . . . 139 E. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 Chapter Four

Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment A. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 B. The Fragment’s Language: A Brief History of the Debate . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 Latinity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 Julio Campos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 Bilingual Case for Victorinus of Pettau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 Greek Translation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 Excursus: Victorinus, Comm. Apoc. 1.7 and the Muratorian Fragment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161 Table 1. Victorinus, Comm. Apoc. 1.7 and MF ll. 46–63 . . . . . . . . . . . 162 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 C. Medieval Manuscript Abbreviation Hypothesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170 Abbreviation Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172 Major Abbreviation Symbols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174 Orthography at Monte Cassino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175 Hypothesis of an Abbreviated Archetype . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176 Table 2. Hypothetical Reconstruction of the Fragment’s Abbreviated Archetype . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176 Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180 Menda vera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181 Scribal Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183 Summation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184 D. Ecclesiastica disciplina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185 E. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188


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Chapter Five

External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment A. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191 B. External Evidence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192 The Benedictine Prologues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192 Prologue Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197 English Translation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199 Introduction in Monte Cassino 235 (C2) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201 C. Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 Table 1. Parallels between the Benedictine Prologues and the Muratorian Fragment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 Table 2. Parallels between the Muratorian Fragment and the Benedictine Prologues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204 Table 3. Parallels Among the Four Benedictine Prologues . . . . . . . . . . . . 204 Table 4. Letter Lists Across the BPs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205 Adolf von Harnack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208 Ambrogio Maria Amelli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211 Euthalian Apparatus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 216 Table 5. BPs, Euthalian Apparatus, Vulgate Preface to Paul’s Letters . . . 217 Conclusion: Benedictine Prologues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218 Chromatius of Aquileia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219 Table 6. MF and Chromatius on Luke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222 Table 7. MF and Chromatius, Tract. Mat., prologue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223 Table 8. Regulae fidei . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226 Anti-Marcionite Gospel Prologues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230 Monarchian Prologues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232 Table 9. Lukan Prologues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233 Summation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234 Table 10. Lukan Authorship in Four Witnesses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234 D. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234 Table 11. The Muratorian Fragment and Biblical Prologues . . . . . . . . . . . 236

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Chapter Six

Commentary A. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237 Extent and Significance of the Parallel Texts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237 B. Commentary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239 Gospels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239 Mark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239 Table 1. Tregelles’s Discussion of Early Reconstructions of the Fragment’s First Line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 240 Table 2. Distribution of Lines Dedicated to Individual Texts Listed in the Fragment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241 Luke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242 John . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244 Excursus: Acts of Timothy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245 Table 3. Attestation of the Elements in the Johannine Legend . . . . . . . . . 252 Regula fidei . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253 Excursus: Diatessaron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254 1 John . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 256 Acts of All the Apostles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259 Letters of Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264 Excursus: “Schism of Heresy” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264 Two Spurious Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268 Laodiceans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268 Alexandrians . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 270 Jude and 2 Johannine Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273 Wisdom of Solomon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 276 Three Apocalypses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279 Revelation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279 Apocalypse of Peter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281 Shepherd of Hermas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283 Periodic Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284 Other Witnesses to the Fraternity Legend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 286 Liberian Catalogue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 286 Carmen adversus Marcionitas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 286 Liber Pontificalis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289 Spurious Letters of Pius . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292 Letter to All Churches about the Date of Easter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292 Letter to Justus of Vienne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 294 Fraternity Legend and the Shepherd of Hermas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295 Excursus: We-Passages of the Muratorian Fragment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300


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Catalogue of Heretical Texts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303 Table 4. Parallel Heretical Catalogues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 306 C. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307 Chapter Seven

A Star Rising in the Darkness A. Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309 B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312 Arithmology and the Medieval Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312 Unification of the Church during the Fourth Century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 318 Heresiology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319 Rufinus of Aquileia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321 Chromatius of Aquileia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 322 Ambrosiaster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 323 Table 1. Ambrosiaster and the Fragment: Parallel Words and Phrases . . 330 Table 2. Fragment with Structural Conjunctions Highlighted . . . . . . . . . 332 Excursus: Evagrius of Antioch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 341 Concluding Remarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 344 Appendices A. Theories concerning the Authorship of the Muratorian Fragment . . . . . 345 B. Two Letters by Antonio Maria Ceriani . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 349 C. Fragmentum Muratorianum Iuxta Codices Casinenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 353 D. Muratori’s Latin Introduction to the Fragment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 357 E. English Translation of Muratori’s Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 361 F. Sermo de Abraham (Ambr. I 101 sup., fols. 72r–73r) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 367 G. Synopsis of Reconstructions of a Hypothetical Greek Urtext . . . . . . . . . . 371 H. Five Regulae Fidei (“Statements of Faith”) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 385 I. Lovers Doodle of the ‘Muratorian Codex’ (Ambr. I 101 sup.) . . . . . . . . . . 389 Table 1. Running Headers in Ambr. I 101 sup. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 402 Table 2. Liquid Damage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 405 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 409 Index of Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 439 Index of Modern Authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 453 Index of Subjects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 459

List of Abbreviations ABD ANF

Anchor Bible Dictionary The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. 1885–1887. 10 vols. Repr., Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994. AThR Anglican Theological Review BDAG Danker, Frederick W., Walter Bauer, William F. Arndt, and F. Wilbur Gingrich. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000 (Danker-Bauer-Arndt-Gingrich). BETL Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium BNF Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris BNP Brill’s New Pauly, Encyclopedia of the Ancient World. Edited by Hubert Cancik. 22 vols. Leiden: Brill, 2002–2011. BMB La Bibliografia dei manoscritti in scrittura beneventana BNTC Black’s New Testament Commentaries BP Benedictine Prologue BR Biblical Research Cc Hypothetical manuscript archetype of the Benedictine Prologues C MS Montecassino, Archivio dell’Abazia, 349 MS Montecassino, Archivio dell’Abazia, 552 C1 C2 MS Montecassino, Archivio dell’Abazia, 235 C3 MS Montecassino, Archivio dell’Abazia, 535 CCSL Corpus Christianorum: Series Latina. Turnhout: Brepols, 1953– CH Church History ChLA Albert Bruckner, Robert Marichal et al. Chartae Latinae Antiquiores. Vols. 1–15, 17–18, 20–22. Olten-Lausanne, 1954–67; Zürich, 1975. CLA Lowe, Elias Avery. Codices Latini Antiquiores. Vols. 1–11 and Suppl., 22. Oxford, 1934–72. Addenda by B. Bischoff and V. Brown, Mediaeval Studies 47 (1985): 317–66, with 18 plates. col. column CPG Clavis Patrum Graecorum. Edited by Maurice Geerard. 5 vols. Turnhout: Brepols, 1974–1987. CPL Clavis Patrum Latinorum. Edited by Eligius Dekkers. 3rd ed. Brepols: Editores Pontificii, 1995. CRBR Critical Review of Books in Religion CSEL Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum DACL Dictionnaire d’archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie. Edited by Fernand Cabrol. 15 vols. Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1907–1953.


List of Abbreviations

Dictionary of Christian Biography. Edited by William Smith and Henry Wace. 4 vols. London: Murray, 1877–1887. DG Decretum Gelasianum DSAM Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique. Edited by Marcel Viller, Charles Baumgartner, and André Rayez. Paris: Beauchesne, 1935–1995. EBR Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Edited by Hans-Josef Klauck et al. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2009–. EC Early Christianity ET English Translation expl. explicit (closing words of a text) fol./fols. folio(s) fasc. quire HTR Harvard Theological Review inc. incipit (opening words of a text) inf. inferior (lower shelf ) IPE Initiations aux Pères de l’Église JBL Journal of Biblical Literature JECS Journal of Early Christian Studies JETS Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society JK Philipp Jaffé. Regesta pontificum Romanorum. 2nd ed. Edited by F. Kaltenbrunner. Leipzig: Veit, 1885. Repr., Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. JTS Journal of Theological Studies l./ll. line/lines Lat. Latin LD Lectio divina loc. location in e-book LP Liber Pontificalis MC Monte Cassino membr. membranum (“skin,” i. e., parchment) MF Muratorian Fragment MGH, Auct. ant. Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Auctores antiquissimi MGH, Epp. Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Epistolae MS Mediaeval Studies MS/MSS manuscript/manuscripts n./nn. footnote/footnotes NA28 Novum Testamentum Graece. 28th ed. Edited by B. Aland et al. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012. NAPS North American Patristic Society NHS Nag Hammadi Studies NKZ Neue kirchliche Zeitschrift NovT Novum Testamentum NovTSup Supplements to Novum Testamentum NPNF1–2 Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series 1 and 2 NRSV New Revised Standard Version NT New Testament DCB

List of Abbreviations


New Testament Apocrypha. 2 vols. Revised ed. Edited by Wilhelm Schneemelcher. English trans. ed. Robert McL. Wilson. Cambridge: Clarke; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2003. NTS New Testament Studies OSB Ordo Sancti Benedicti PG Patrologia Graeca [= Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Graeca]. Edited by Jacques-Paul Migne. 162 vols. Paris, 1857–1886. PL Patrologia Latina [= Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Latina]. Edited by Jacques-Paul Migne. 217 vols. Paris, 1844–1864. PLS Patrologiae Latinae Supplementum. Edited by Adalbert-Gautier Hamman. 5 vols. Paris: Garnier, 1958–1964. p./pp. page/pages PTS Patristische Texte und Studien r. recto repr. reprinted RB Revue biblique RBén Revue bénédictine RE Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche. Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1908. RevSR Revue des sciences religieuses RGG Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Edited by Hans Dieter Betz et al. 4th ed. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1998–2007. RPP Religion Past and Present: Encyclopedia of Theology and Religion. Edited by Hans Dieter Betz et al. 14 vols. Leiden: Brill, 2007–2013. RTAM Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale saec. saeculum (“century”) S. P. Sala dal Prefetto Sess. Sessorianus SC Sources chrétiennes. Paris: Cerf, 1943– SCM Student Christian Movement ScotJT Scottish Journal of Theology SPCK Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge STAC Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum sup. superiore (upper shelf ) s. v. sub verbo Them Themelios TLG Thesaurus Linguae Graecae: Canon of Greek Authors and Works. Edited by Luci Berkowitz and Karl A. Squitier. 3rd ed. New York: ­Oxford University Press, 1990. TLL Thesaurus Linguae Latinae. Leipzig: Teubner; Berlin: De Gruyter, 1900–. TLZ Theologische Literaturzeitung TQ Theologische Quartalschrift TS Theological Studies TSK Theologische Studien und Kritiken TU Texte und Untersuchungen TUGAL Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur UNC University of North Carolina NTApoc


List of Abbreviations

UTB Universität Taschenbücher Vat. lat. Vatican, BAV, Vat. lat. v. verso VC Vigiliae Christianae WGRW Writings of the Greco-Roman World WTJ Westminster Theological Journal WUNT Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament ZAC Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum ZKG Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte ZNW Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der älteren Kirche ZWT Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Theologie

Chapter One

History, Genre, Text St. Ippolyts, April 15th, 1858 To Mr. A. Macmillan … Tregelles wants to know if any Cambridge publisher would take the risk of a quarto tract of about two sheets, with a complete facsimile of the important Muratorian fragment on the Canon at Milan. There are curious discrepancies in the collations. But last August Tregelles made an exact facsimile. … The thing will hardly sell much in England, unless trouble is taken about it; more probably in Germany. It is of much consequence; so much that Lightfoot was talking not long ago of going to Milan for the express purpose of thoroughly overhauling it.1

A. Introduction The Muratorian Fragment is one of the key pieces of evidence for establishing the early canon of the New Testament. Preserved in an eighth-century (?) manuscript, it enumerates most of the books of the traditional twenty-seven book canon and specifies certain books that are to be excluded. My interest in this Fragment arose out of an attempt to ascertain the reliability of the claim that the Letter to the Hebrews was accepted in the East but rejected in the West.2 The claim concerning Hebrews’s Eastern acceptance is based primarily on 𝔓46, evidence I considered trustworthy. The claim about Western rejection is based on the Muratorian Fragment, the dependability of which I considered uncertain. Because the historical-critical method requires an understanding of the historical context of every text summoned as evidence, I naively set out to establish the reliability of the Muratorian Fragment. In these preliminary investigations, I was surprised to read the contradictory reports about the Fragment’s initial dis1 Letter by F. J. A. Hort as cited in Arthur Fenton Hort (son), Life and Letters of Fenton John Anthony Hort, vol. 1 (London: Macmillan, 1896), 397 (“age 30”). 2  With permission, I have modeled my project on the work of Matthew C. Baldwin, Whose Acts of Peter? Text and Historical Context of the Actus Vercellenses, WUNT 2/196 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005), 1–5.


Chapter One: History, Genre, Text

covery and the contents of its codex. What is more, despite insistence by scholars of varying opinions that its date and provenance were secure, previous scholarship had not – as far as I could tell – authenticated this text.3 It seemed, thus, that to understand the reception history of Hebrews, a thorough investigation of the Muratorian Fragment was necessary. What began as a prolegomenon eventually developed into this full-length study. In the 1740s, Ludovico Antonio Muratori first refers to the text as “a fragment about the apostles” (fragmentum de Apostolis).4 More than a century later (1868), Samuel Prideaux Tregelles refers to the Fragment with the Latinized adjective, “Muratorianus,”5 eventually translated into modern languages as “Muratorian” (Muratorianisch, etc.). The text now known as the Muratorian Fragment (abbreviated MF throughout this study) is a short writing in Latin extant in a single codex, which has become known as the Muratorian Codex.6 This codex has the shelfmark Ambr. I 101 sup., and belongs to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Ambrosian Library) in Milan, the financial metropolis of Italy’s northern Lombardy region and home of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper mural. The Fragment is located on fols. 10r–11r.7 Most books, articles, and other reports citing the Fragment or employing it as a witness assume that its origin is settled. It is thought to be a canon list composed sometime in the second century, most likely in Rome (based on its well-known reference to Pius, bishop of Rome, l. 76) or in the fourth century, somewhere in the East (based on a “periodic” interpretation of ll. 73–77 examin3  Scholarship on the Muratorian Fragment demonstrates an unusual propensity for claiming, as opposed to arguing, consensus. Christophe Guignard, editor-in-chief of Revue des sciences religieuses, approved for publication in this journal a Streitschrift (“The Muratorian Fragment as a Late Antique Fake? An Answer to C. K. Rothschild,” RevSR 93 [2019]: 73–90, here: 76) containing a list of corrigenda from my preview article and referring to it as “a hoax.” I remain grateful for the list and have made the corrections. 4  L. A. Muratori, “De Literarum Statu, neglectu, & cultura in Italia post Barbaros in eam invectos usque ad Annum Christi Millesimum Centesimum,” in Antiquitates Italicae Medii Aevi, vol. 3 (Milan: Ex Typographia Societatis Palatinae, 1740; repr., Bologna: Arnaldo Forni Editore, 1965), 851. 5  Tregelles may be the first to refer to the Fragment as “Muratorianus.” In an unrelated volume in which at one point he argues against the reliability of the papacy, Tregelles comments on the Fragment’s title: “The earliest notice of any collected books of the New Testament is found in a remarkable testimony of an unknown writer. The document to which I refer is commonly called the Canon ‘in Muratori’ because it was first published by that Italian scholar and antiquary, from a MS. in the Ambrosian library at Milan.” See S. P. Tregelles, The Historic Evidence of the Authorship and Transmission of the Books of the New Testament: A Lecture Delivered before the Plymouth Young Men’s Christian Association, October 14th, 1851, 2nd ed. (London: Samuel Bagster, 1881), 15. 6  CLA 3:352. 7  A photograph of the lithograph of the hand-made facsimile by Samuel Prideaux Tregelles is available in his Canon Muratorianus: The Earliest Catalogue of the Books of the New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon, 1867). By sheer chance, it appears between pages 10 and 11 – the same two pages on which the Fragment appears in the Muratorian Codex.

A. Introduction


ed below). Often the text is thought to be a translation of an older Greek original now lost. Authorial attributions range widely, including Gaius (presbyter) of Rome, Clement of Alexandria, and Hippolytus of Rome. Many, if not all, scholars accept that the Fragment was truncated when copied into the Muratorian Codex – comments on Matthew and Mark (possibly in the reverse order) are omitted from the beginning and a fuller discussion of heresies excluded from the end. If the text represents a translation from Greek, the reliability of the translator is difficult to judge, as all agree that the scribe who copied the text into the Muratorian Codex was unreliable, perhaps unlearned, if typical of the state of Latin letters of the day. If arguments for a second-century date are correct, the attraction of the Muratorian Fragment for historians of the New Testament, early Christianity, early church history, late antique Christianity, and late antique religion is obvious: it represents treasured evidence of second-century ecclesiastical thought and piety with a focus on apostolic tradition, canon, and truth. Its list of NT texts, together with its reports concerning the apostles and various NT authors, provides some of the earliest evidence for the historical identities of these figures, on occasion even the details of the historical context of their inspired compositions. If, on the other hand, the Fragment was written in the fourth century, as another set of scholars believes, it joins a chorus of voices debating the canon in a later era. Gleaning valuable insights from both the second- and the fourth-century positions, the present study entertains yet a third option: that the Fragment represents a forged attempt to provide a venerable second-century precedent for a later position on canon. Like the Donation of Constantine, the Pseudo-Isidoriana,8 and other forgeries, it betrays itself through anachronisms, clichés, mistakes, as well as an arbitrary array of sentences, phrases, and words freely excerpted from older writings without attribution,9 the purpose of which is to trace canon publication standards of a later date back to the second-century bishopric of Pius (ca. 140–155 ce).10 There is no external evidence for the existence of a second-century Greek Muratorian Fragment. No independent witness mentions this text, a fact which alone casts significant doubt on its authenticity. The late fourth-century bishop Chromatius of Aquileia shares a few lines in common with the Fragment, and three eleventh- and one twelfth-century Latin manuscripts contain parallels to twenty-four lines. The Latin of these medieval manuscripts is better than that of the Fragment, suggesting to some scholars that the Fragment was copied  8  Anthony Grafton, Forgers and Critics: Creativity and Duplicity in Western Scholarship (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990).  9  This includes the Bible, writings of late antique Christians, abridgments, collections (such as florilegia), and anthologies – both genuine and apocryphal. 10  If there is a Greek model, most scholars surmise a provenance in the East rather than the West.


Chapter One: History, Genre, Text

from a less corrupt original that these parallel texts also knew,11 whether from the exemplar of the Muratorian Codex or from a branch tradition.12 This study compares the text of the Fragment with these five and a few related Latin paralleltexts, arguing that, more often than not, the Fragment copied parallel material from sources rather than the reverse and that the Fragment is thus relevant not to the historical study of the time of an imagined pristine Greek or Latin predecessor, but to the time in which it was written down – a golden age of Latin ecclesiastical forgeries.

B. Problems in the Study of the Muratorian Fragment Presumed Date(s) of Composition In works by Samuel P. Tregelles, Bruce M. Metzger, and their followers or by Albert C. Sundberg, Jr. and his followers, especially Geoffrey Mark Hahneman, a date of composition either sometime in the last quarter of the second century (first group) or in the fourth century (second group) is assigned to the inextant ancient Greek or Latin text from which it is assumed the Fragment derives. Although most scholars prior to Sundberg’s fourth-century hypothesis regard the second-century date as certain, in fact skepticism about a second-century date was expressed from the moment Muratori announced his discovery. All responses to the initial discovery, as well as the subsequent revival of interest roughly a century later with Tregelles and others, are covered in a historiographical review in the next chapter. First, however, we turn to the question of what exactly Muratori discovered in Ambr. I 101 sup.

11  Geoffrey Mark Hahneman, The Muratorian Fragment and the Development of the Canon (Oxford: Clarendon, 1992), 9. 12  As Hahneman writes, “If such serious errors exist in a copy of only thirty-five lines, then it is very unlikely that similar errors in transcription would not occur in a passage like the Fragment which is almost two and half times as long. The folio which precedes the Fragment also reveals the same kind of ignorance of construction, the same false criticism, and the same confusion of letters and terminations. Therefore, the carelessness of this particular scribe is probably responsible for a significant portion of the barbarous transcription of the Fragment” (Muratorian Fragment, 8). Hahneman also observes that fol. 11r displays the letter “I” as a quire mark. Because the manuscript is composed of regular quaternions, each signed in alphabetical order on the last folio, he infers from this letter (and others agree) that up to fifty-six pages have been lost (Muratorian Fragment, 17–18). See discussion in Chapter 3.

C. Theoretical Issues


C. Theoretical Issues Text and Genre Since Muratori first laid eyes on it, and particularly since its earliest critical editions, the Fragment has been regarded as a “text” and, as such, thought to possess inherent value for the history of Christianity.13 Specifically, it has been valued as some kind of canon list and, correspondingly, was never reduced to prefatory or other seemingly less important material. In his argument for the Fragment’s fourth-century Eastern date and provenance, Hahneman characterizes the Fragment as “a good example of a catalogue,”14 defining catalogue as “an accepted list to which nothing can be added or subtracted.”15 Hahneman selects this classification over against the textual categories of “comment,” defined as “any mention of works [e. g., by a late antique Christian writer] as authoritative or as Scripture,” and “collection,” defined as a non-rigid but nevertheless bound group of specifiable works such as the Marcionite prologues.16 His rationale is based on the Fragment’s clear intention to both correctly and completely order and tally NT texts and specify omitted texts together with the justification for their exclusion.17 Hahneman’s categorization “catalogue” bolsters his argument for the peculiarity of the Fragment in the second century insofar as NT catalogues are an almost exclusively fourth-century literary phenomenon.18 At the same time, the Fragment is not, as Hahneman points out, a good example of “an accepted list to which nothing can be added or subtracted” because its position on more than a few texts (e. g., 1, 2, 3 John, Wisdom of Solomon, Shepherd of  According to Paolo Chiesa, a critical edition is “a hypothesis of a text” (Medieval Latin Philology: An Overview Through Case Studies, trans. Matteo Salaroli, Galluzzo Paperbacks 3 [Florence: Sismel, 2019], e-book accessed July 23, 2019, “location 1650”). The e-book is an updated and revised translation of P. Chiesa, Venticinque lezioni di filologia mediolatina, Galuzzo Paperbacks 3 (Florence: Sismel, 2016). 14  Imbuing his otherwise clear argument with a measure of ambiguity, Hahneman offers a second characterization of the Fragment as “more than a catalogue” (Muratorian Fragment, 89). See the criticism of his position in Everett Ferguson, review of Muratorian Fragment, by Geoffrey Mark Hahneman, JTS 44 (1993): 691–97, here: 696. 15  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 88. 16  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 87. 17  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 88. 18  The reviewer of Hesse and Westcott likewise notes that the term “‘Canon’ was not in use when this list was drawn up. Hilgenfeld thinks, indeed, that the word is in Origen, who may have taken it from the original Greek of our manuscript. This would stamp upon it an additional dignity; but it must be remembered that the adjectival use of the term, in the sense of ‘canonised,’ occurs only in Latin translations of Origen, and also that a Greek original of the Fragment is only an hypothesis” (Anonymous, review of Das Muratorische Fragment, by F. H. Hesse, and of General Survey of the History of the Canon, by B. F. Wescott, London Quarterly and Holborn Review 41 (1874): 434–58, here: 436). I could not find an attribution for this review; hereafter, I refer to the reviewer as anonymous. 13


Chapter One: History, Genre, Text

Hermas, Apocalypse of Peter) leaves room for doubt. Hahneman does not think this fact jeopardizes his generic categorization, arguing that, even if the details are now lost, a clear position on these texts is implied. However, just as problematic – or more – for the Fragment’s categorization as a catalogue are its numerous comments. Most ancient catalogues inventory a series of items seriatim without commentary. These issues compel our reassessment of the Fragment’s generic classification.

Deciphering the Genre The Fragment is a single incomplete codicological unit in a composite codex. It is assumed to represent an originally coherent work, but B. F. Westcott recorded the possibility that the original Fragment was itself composite – “three or four different passages from some unknown author.”19 This idea, which has to my knowledge not been adequately explored, suggests at least two additional possible generic categories in addition to Hahneman’s three (i. e., commentaries, prefaces, catalogues): formulae and doxography. A short review of all five may help us to get a sense of where the Fragment belongs. 1. Commentary (Gk. ὑπόμνημα; Lat. commentarium) Working with Hahneman’s definition, commentaries are “self-standing works containing exegetical remarks on a text. Keyed by a lemma (a short quotation) from the text under discussion, the commentary functioned as an aid for novicelearners and experienced readers alike.”20 2. Preface (Gk. πρόλoγος; Lat. prooemium) I have replaced Hahneman’s ‘collection’ with ‘preface’ or ‘prefatory material’ to refocus this category on the genre as opposed to the medium. “Prefaces” are statements that precede a text, providing relevant historical information about some aspect of its history or composition. NT prefaces may introduce individual texts (e. g., gospel, letter) or text groups (i. e., corpus Paulinum). Occasionally, NT prefatory material orients readers to or away from an exegetical or theological trend (e. g., so-called anti-Marcionite).21 19 “The present form of the Fragment makes the idea of a chasm in it very probable; and more than this, the want of coherence between several parts seems to shew that it was not all continuous originally, but that it has been made up of three or four different passages from some unknown author, collected on the same principle as the quotations in Eusebius from Papias, Irenaeus, Clement, and Origen” (Brooke Foss Westcott, A General Survey of History of the Canon of the New Testament during the First Four Centuries [London: Macmillan, 71896], 223). 20 See Trevor Thompson, “Commentaries (Genre): Greco-Roman Antiquity,” EBR 5:548– 49, here: 548. 21  Heinrich Lausberg, Handbook of Literary Rhetoric: A Foundation for Literary Study, ed. D. E. Orton and R. Dean Andersen (Leiden: Brill, 1998), §§ 263–88. J. J. Armstrong believes that the Fragment may have preceded a commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, particularly as an

C. Theoretical Issues


3. Catalogue (Gk. κατάλογος; Lat. catalogus) Catalogues are lists (seriatim) with minimal commentary or other discursive material. In the fourth century, biblical lists sometimes separate items into categories, for example, (1)  ὁμολογούμενα (“recognized”), (2)  ἀντιλεγόμενα (“disputed”), and (3) νόθα (“spurious”) (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.25.1). 4. Formula Formulae are rules, methods, or formulas for regulating judicial proceedings.22 Eucherius of Lyons (380–450 ce) utilizes this genre to articulate a wide variety of Christian ideas. In Ambr. I 101 sup., the Fragment (fol. 10r–11r) is embedded between two works by Eucherius (Formulae, 1r–9v, Instructiones 12r–19r) – the former of which is a celebrated list of formulae.23 Question-and-Answer literature is a close relative of formulae.24 5. Doxography Doxography (Gk. ἀρέσκοντα; Lat. placita) is an ancient genre popularized by Christians in which the philosophical views of a particular philosopher or philosophical school are succinctly formulated and organized by topic. imitation of the prologue to Origen’s Commentary on Matthew (“Victorinus of Pettau as the Author of the Canon Muratori,” VC 62 [2008]: 1–34, here: 31). 22 According to Thomas O’Loughlin, “The word formula has a range of meanings in Latin somewhat comparable to its various uses in modern English: it can mean a legal document, be part of a fixed process, or describe a part of liturgical ritual. None of these well evidenced uses fully explains why Eucherius chose it as the title of his book or why he says in the preface that he is sending a work on the formulae which go to make up a spiritual understanding” (“The Spirit Gives Life: Eucherius of Lyons’ Formula for Exegesis,” in Scriptural Interpretation in the Fathers: Letter and Spirit, ed. Thomas Finan and Vincent Twomey [Dublin: Four Courts, 1995], 221–52, here: 235); Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon, 1879), 769, s. v. formula I.B.4; J. F. Niermeyer, Mediae Latinitatis Lexicon Minus (Leiden: Brill, 1976), 446–47, s. v. formula 3–5. 23  Several scholars, including Mirella Ferrari, argue that seven fascicles containing the majority of Eucherius’s Formulae were lost between fol. 9v and fol. 10r. See discussion in Chapter 3. 24  This genre derives from the ancient Greek tradition of interrogating either important texts such as Homer or important customs (e. g., Plutarch, Greek and Roman Questions). Helpful studies on this topic include Gustav Bardy, “La littérature patristique des ‘Quaestiones et Responsiones’ sur l’Ecriture Sainte,” RB 41 (1932): 210–36, 341–69, 515–37; RB 42 (1933): 14–30, 211–29, 328–52; Marie-Pierre Bussières, ed., La littérature des questions et réponses dans l’antiquité profane et chrétienne: de l’enseignement à l’exégèse, Instrumenta patristica et mediaevalia 64 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2013); Yannis Papadoyannakis, “Instruction by Question and Answer: The Case of Late Antique and Byzantine Erotapokriseis,” in Greek Literature in Late Antiquity: Dynamism, Didacticism, Classicism, ed. Scott Fitzgerald Johnson (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2006), 91–106; Lorenzo Perrone, “Questions and Responses,” in The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Biblical Interpretation, ed. Paul M. Blowers and Peter W. Martens (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 198–209; and, Claudio Zamagni, “Une introduction méthodologique à la littérature patristiques des questions et réponses: Le cas d’Eusèbe de Césarée,” in Erotapokriseis: Early Christian Question-and-Answer Literature in Context, ed. Annelie Volgers and Claudio Zamagni, Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology 37 (Leuven: Peeters, 2004), 7–24, here: 10.


Chapter One: History, Genre, Text

Analysis According to these categories, the Muratorian Fragment represents neither commentary (scriptural exegesis) (#1 above) nor catalogue (seriatim list) (#3 above). It resembles doxography (#5) in its initial comments on the gospels of Luke and John,25 but this similarity does not persist after the presentation of the gospels. As Westcott once noted, the Fragment resembles an amalgamation of pieces – brief seriatim prefaces (i. e., name of biblical book followed by brief mention of relevant historical information) mixed with other non-preface material.26 One might argue that the Fragment represents preface material based on its parallels (twenty-four lines) in the so-called Benedictine Prologues, four copies of a prologue to Paul’s epistles discovered in three eleventh- and one twelfth-century manuscripts at the Benedictine monastery on Monte Cassino.27 Yet at least three aspects advise against this labeling. First, the preface-like material in the Fragment is shorter than that of other works. Where a typical preface includes two to five sentences about a single work, some books in the Fragment receive comment only as part of a group (Paul’s letters) or not at all.28 Second, a significant percentage of the Fragment’s lines cannot be qualified as preface material: lines 18–26, for example, constitute a Rule of Faith. Third, banned books (ll. 81–85) rarely receive comment in biblical prefaces. The Fragment often fails to link commentary on one book to commentary on the next, suggesting, as Westcott observed, a certain separability of the underlying generic traditions. Such a chain-link presentation of some brief prefatorylike statements in asystematic alternation with non-prefatory statements (e. g., Rule of Faith, catalogue of heresies), incorporating aspects of both canon and creed, suggests the generic classification formulae or its close relative  – question-and-answer literature – characterized by simple, disconnected propositions representative, rather than comprehensive, of a single theme and aim.

25  In particular, the triadic emphasis on tempus, locus, and persona. On the general background of this triad, see D. W. Robertson, Jr., “A Note on the Classical Origin of ‘Circumstances’ in the Medieval Confessional,” Studies in Philology 43 (1946): 6–14, esp. 10. On occurrences in Irish exegesis, see Thomas O’Loughlin, “Res, tempus, locus, persona: Adomnán’s Exegetical Method,” The Innes Review 48 (1997): 95–111; and on occurrences in an accessus, see Franck Cinato, “‘Accessus ad Priscianum’ de Jean Scot Erigène à Létald de Micy,” Archivum Latinitatis Medii Aevi 70 (2012): 27–90. 26  Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 223. 27  See discussion in Chapter 5. 28  Hermann Freiherr von Soden (Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments in ihrer ältesten erreichbaren Textgestalt [Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1911–1913]) offers the most complete collection of Greek prologues.

C. Theoretical Issues


Excursus: Decretum Gelasianum One additional genre warrants mention. A decretal is a papal letter containing an authoritative decision on a point of ecclesiastical law. The oldest decretal may date to the fourth century – the letter of Pope Siricius (384–398) to Himerius, bishop of Tarragona in Spain, dating to 385.29 The so-called Decretum Gelasianum (DG) or the Gelasian Decree is a decree erroneously attributed to Pope Gelasius including a canon list of twenty-seven books of the NT. The work takes it name from a tradition that it was a decretal of Pope Gelasius I, bishop of Rome from 492 to 496. It is a five-chapter anonymous text30 likely written in southern Gaul or northern Italy in the sixth century.31 The second chapter contains a list of biblical books known as the Damasine List (because it was purportedly ordained as canon by authority of a council of Rome under Pope Damasus I, bishop of Rome from 366 to 383) or De libris recipiendis et non recipiendis. The list includes the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in that order; fourteen Pauline epistles; seven general letters: two of Peter, one of James, one of the apostle John, two of “the other John the presbyter,” and one of “Judas the Zealot.” The Muratorian Fragment shares verbal similarities with this fictitious decree, including the following: an emphasis on the number seven (DG 1.1; 2.4 || MF ll. 49, 58); reference to the oneness of the holy spirit (DG 1.3; MF ll. 19) and “universal catholic church” (DG 2 pref.; 3.1 || MF ll. 56–57, 66);32 language of “receiving” and “not receiving” (DG 2 pref., 3 pref., 5 || MF ll. 66, 70–71);33 reference to the passion of Peter (DG 3.2 || MF l. 37); association of Wisdom with Solomon (DG 2.1 || MF l. 70); use of the epithet ‘canonical’ for the catholic epistles (DG 2.4 || MF l. 69);34 reference to the apostolic seat in the city of Rome (DG 3 pref., 3.3; “city of Rome,” 4.3 || MF ll. 74–76); reference to the “prophets” and “apostles” (DG 3.1 || MF l. 79–80); and, a list of heretics and heretical works (DG 4.1; 5 [also, schismatics] || MF ll. 65, 81–84). Finally, both texts refer to a past pope (DG: either Damasus, pref. or Gelasius, 3 pref.; MF l. 76: Pius).

 Greg Peters and C. Colt Anderson, eds., A Companion to Priesthood and Holy Orders in the Middle Ages, Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 109. 30 The five parts are: (1) Christ and the spirit; (2) canonical books; (3) Rome, Alexandria, Antioch; (4) list of received books; and (5) list of apocryphal books. 31 Ernst von Dobschütz argues that all five chapters belong to the same pseudonymous work written between 519 and 553 in Italy (Das Decretum Gelasianum de libris recipiendis et non recipiendis in kritischem Text, TU 38/4 [Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1912]) reasoning that (a) all versions (i. e., shorter recensions) seem to be derived from the full five-part text, which contains a quotation by Augustine from ca. 416, implying that the text postdates Damasus; and, (b) had it been an official decree of Gelasius it would have been known and used by Dionysius Exiguus and Cassiodorus, implying it predates the latter (d. 590). In his review of this volume, F. C. Burkitt believes Dobschütz has convincingly made his case: (JTS 14 [1913]: 469–71, here: 470). The Decretum may reuse an older text: Eduard Schwartz, “Zum Decretum Gelasianum,” ZNW 29 (1930): 161–8; Ursula Reutter, Damasus, Bischof von Rom (366–384): Leben und Werk, STAC 55 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 468–513. 32  Lietzmann notes this parallel (Das Muratorische Fragment, 9). 33 Cf. also “receive to be read” DG 4.4 || MF l. 77. 34  Hahneman observes this parallel (Muratorian Fragment, 162). He discusses the Decretum Gelasianum with three other canon lists (i. e., the Laodicene Canon 60, a Roman canon from ca. 400, and Synopsis Veteris et Novi Testamenti), the authenticity of which is so seriously disputed that he does not include them in his conclusions to the chapter (156–63, 180–82). 29


Chapter One: History, Genre, Text

Interest in orthodoxy on the part of Carolingian scholars spurred numerous copies of this text, some regarding it as a decretal by Gelasius, others as a work by a Roman council under Damasus.35 The earliest manuscript of De libris recipiendis, Brussels, Royal Library 9850–52 was copied circa 700. The complete text is preserved in the mid-eighth-century Ragyndrudis Codex (fols. 57r–61v) now in the cathedral treasury at Fulda. The Decretum Gelasianum traveled with the works of Eucherius in, for example, MS Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 14469.36 According to Rosamond McKitterick, “In nearly every case its codicological context is that of coherent and deliberate miscellanies of texts which provide guides to orthodox and approved Christian writings.”37 Fictitious attribution of the text to an early pope bolsters the authority and hence usefulness of the guide and attempts to date it earlier than it was written. While the verbal similarities between these two texts are only marginally suggestive, and notable differences between the two texts include absence in the Fragment of Hebrews, 1, 2, Peter, and James, the codicological function of the Decretum Gelasianum may be instructive for our understanding of the Fragment.

Eucherius of Lyons As noted, the Fragment is embedded in the Muratorian Codex between two treatises by the mid-fifth-century bishop Eucherius of Lyons. Frequently neglected by scholars, Eucherius, bishop of Lyons (d. 450 ce), is a significant fifth-century theologian who lived in southern Gaul. Cassiodorus mentions him with honor among the introductores scripturae divinae (“those who have written introductions to the sacred scriptures”),38 that is, as an individual able to help the faithful understand quae prius clausa manserunt (“that which was inaccessible before”) and quotes a lengthy paragraph from Eucherius’s chapter on numbers verbatim.39 Originally, Eucherius’s two works would have comprised roughly half of the codex.40 If the Fragment’s genre is not commentary (#1 above), catalogue (#3 above), doxography (#5), or preface (#2 above), it may be worth considering whether its simple, disconnected propositions bear a relationship to formulae, the genre of Eucherius’s important treatise, Formulae spiritalis intellegentiae. According to Thomas O’Loughlin, legal applications of this genre involve “a fixed rule, method, and process for carrying out a case, and in particular a rule 35 Rosamond McKitterick, The Carolingians and the Written Word (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 202–5. 36  McKitterick, Carolingians and the Written Word, 203, 208. The combination was commonly found together in a variety of exegetical handbooks. 37  McKitterick, Carolingians and the Written Word, 203. 38  Cassiodorus, Inst. 1.10.1 (R. A. B. Mynors, ed., Cassiodori Senatoris Institutiones [Oxford: Clarendon, 1937], 34). Cf. Thomas O’Loughlin, Adomnan and the Holy Places: The Perceptions of an Insular Monk on the Locations of the Biblical Drama (London: Bloomsbury, 2007), 30. 39  Cassiodorus, Inst. 2.4.8 (ed. Mynors, 141–42). See Alexander Souter, “‘Cassiodorus’ Copy of Eucherius’ Instructiones,” JTS 14 (1913): 69–72. 40  See discussion in Chapter 3.

C. Theoretical Issues


of evidence on which an enquiry is conducted.”41 Eucherius selected this form to express his spiritual understanding of scripture. By formulae, he denotes an orderly and reliable list of definitional propositions – concrete single-statement word-pictures from scripture organized to give the impression that the Bible contains an encyclopedic view of the world.42 Collectively, the statements constitute a system of images reflecting aspects of the author’s cosmology, anthropology, and theology. Eucherius intended his composition as a new means of reliable proof of scripture and faith. Its hallmark feature, brief single statements, made the text easy to read, memorize, and copy43 – ideal for schoolroom, evangelistic, and related apologetic and didactic purposes.44 Eucherius’s Formulae was expanded and supplemented throughout the Middle Ages with interpretations considered useful for exegesis and preaching. As propositional exegesis, such a work fit snugly into its fifth-century exegetical and liturgical milieu.45 Thomas O’Loughlin describes the advantages of this genre: Its physical convenience was matched by its academic usefulness: in a small book one had a sure method for understanding and preaching without recourse to long, and hard to get at, books. Anyone with a copy could set out to work on their own with confidence: exegesis could be a straightforward, almost mechanical, process. At a time when the educational structures that had trained men such as Ambrose and Augustine were but a shadow of their former glory, a work like the Formulae is even more appealing than that of the vade 41 O’Loughlin,

“Symbol Gives Life,” 235.  I wish to express gratitude to Jeremy Thompson for this description of the text. According to Adomnán of Iona (624–704 ce), “the word formula means a little picture that makes clear an obscure point in a text” (O’Loughlin, “Symbol Gives Life,” 236 n. 68, citing Adomnán (Adamnanus), De locis sanctis 1.2.2; 18.1; 23.19 in L. Bieler et al., eds., Itineraria et alia geographica: Itineraria Hierosolymitana, Itineraria Romana, Geographica, CCSL 175 [Turnhout: Brepols, 1965]). 43  “We have already seen how in the lists of theologians Eucherius is mentioned with ap­proval as a vir illustris and significantly Isidore mentions that he wrote with brevitas. This desire for brevitas is something that appears again and again in writers before the Carolingian renaissance and often it is the only aspect of a writer’s style that is picked out for comment” (O’Loughlin, “Symbol Gives Life,” 245). However, when Isidore refers to Eucherius in Vir., he only mentions Eucherius’s De laude heremi. Although Isidore has a copy of the Instructiones, which he uses in several works, there is some doubt that he knows the Formulae, at least in the original version. See Jacques Elfassi, “Isidore de Séville connaissait-il les Formulae d’Eucher de Lyon?” in Felici Curiositate: Studies in Latin Literature and Textual Criticism from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century in Honour of Rita Beyers, ed. Guy Guldentops, Christian Laes and Gert Partoens, Instrumenta Patristica et Mediaevalia 72 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2017), 377–82. 44  O’Loughlin, “Symbol Gives Life,” 246. On brevitas as a topos in the literature of the Middle Ages, one may begin with Ernst Robert Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, trans. Willard R. Trask, Bollingen Series 36 (New York: Pantheon, 1953), 487–94. 45 “For Eucherius the logic of exegesis was that an object in the text stood as the direct sign of another reality in the manner of a simple hypothetical syllogism: if A then B; and in those cases where it had two meanings (e. g. one good, another bad): if A and if x, then B, and if A and if y, then C – allowing that the relationship between the variables x and y is itself fixed” (O’Loughlin, “Symbol Gives Life,” 244). 42


Chapter One: History, Genre, Text

mecum to the student: it put a tool into the hands of preachers that did not require great academic skill, or great ability, to use well.46

Eucherius’s Formulae has ten sections: Chapter I: De his, quae appellantur membra Domini uel quae de eo significantur (“On the Members of the Lord”) Chapter II: De supernis creaturis (“On Heavenly Objects”) Chapter III: De terrenis (“On Earthly Things”) Chapter IV: De animantibus (“On the Animals”) Chapter V: De uariis nominum appellationibus (“On the Various Common Nouns of Words”) Chapter VI: De interiore homine (“On the Interior Man”) Chapter VII: De his quae in usu atque in medio habentur (“On the Useful or the Ordinary”) Chapter VIII: De uariis uerborum uel nominum significationibus (“On the Various Meanings of Words and Names”) Chapter IX: De Hierusalem uel aduersis eius (“On Jerusalem and her Enemies”) Chapter X: De numeris (“On Numbers”)47

Today ten pre-tenth century manuscripts of the Formulae are known – one of which is the Muratorian Codex.48 As noted above, the Fragment (with the repeated Ambrosian excerpt, fols. 11r–12r) is sandwiched immediately after Eucherius’s Formulae and before book 2 of Eucherius’s Instructiones in Ambr. I 101 sup. Mirella Ferrari reasons that a canon list makes sense at this point in the volume as the clarification of acceptable writings amidst works citing and exegeting them extensively.49 She also acknowledges a formal similarity between the Formulae and the Fragment.50 In order to gain a clear understanding of the Fragment’s contextual relationship to the Formulae, an extended explication is necessary. Eucherius addressed the Formulae to his son, Veranus, in whom he hopes to inculcate his own spiritual understanding of the world by defining its countless phenomena. He does so by citing biblical passages, often together with 46 O’Loughlin, “Symbol Gives Life,” 245–46. O’Loughlin notes that corrupt Latin may reflect an attempt to share the gospel in the vernacular. 47  Carmela Mandolfo, ed. Formulae spiritalis intellegentiae. Instructionum libri duo, by Eucherius of Lyons, CCSL 66 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2004), 5. Cf. Karl Wotke, ed., Sancti Eucherii Lugdunensis Formulae spiritalis intellegentiae, Instructionum libri duo, Passio Agaunensium martyrum, Epistula de laude Heremi, accedunt Epistulae ab Salviano et Hilario et Rustico ad Eucherium datae, CSEL 31 (Vienna: Tempsky, 1894), 6. 48  Mandolfo, ed., Formulae spiritalis intellegentiae, x–xviii; cf. Wotke, ed., Sancti Eucherii Lugdunensis Formulae spiritalis intellegentiae, vii–xxv. See also O’Loughlin, “Symbol Gives Life,” 247–48. 49 Mirella Ferrari argues that both the Fragment and the repeated section of Ambrose, De Abraham 1, 3.15–16 have logical relationships to the context. The Canon, she says, offers a summary table following questions about individual books in Eucherius’s Formulae (“Il Codex Muratorianus e il suo ultimo inedito,” Italia medioevale e umanistica 32 [1989], 1–51: here: 34). On Ambrose, De Abraham, see Marcia L. Colish, Ambrose’s Patriarchs: Ethics for the Common Man (Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame Press, 2005), 41–68. 50 “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 34.

C. Theoretical Issues


thumbnail allegorical interpretations. In the framework of an epistle, the work consists of 465 statements, giving the impression of a practical manual51 to be read not so much for itself, but as background and practice for reading more difficult treatises, such as a commentary or homily.52 Chapter 9 on the topic of Jerusalem is the longest with 73 entries. Chapter 1 on the parts of the Lord’s “body” – that is, on the Bible’s anthropomorphizing language about God – and chapter 10 on numbers are the shortest chapters, with 24 entries each. In the first lines of the praefatio Eucherius emphasizes the uniqueness, significance, and reliability of scripture: Eucherius to his son in Christ, Veranus, greetings. I believe that you should study diligently these formulae of spiritual knowledge, which I have compiled and which I send you. The following knowledge is meant to bring the teaching of the divine scriptures easily to mind. Because the letter kills and the spirit gives life (2 Cor 3:6), it is indispensable that we enter the interior of spiritual discourse with a quickening spirit. We remind ourselves and others that, in the future, the whole of scripture will be our [mental] dress; the old, as well as the new, will be the means to allegorical understanding, because as we read in the Old Testament: I will open my mouth in parables; I will speak in old mysteries (Ps 77 [78]:2), or again, as it is written in the New Testament, Jesus spoke all these things in parables to the crowds and without parables he would not speak to them (Matt 13:34). The heavenly talk of the prophets and the apostles is not to be wondered at; it is brought forth by prayer, not by the usual way that men write. Much will vanish easily if it is gotten readily; great things, which are the true thing, held in the interior, will be brought together, that the blessed sayings of God will be separated from other writings by their worth and type. (Eucherius, Formulae, preface [Keck])53

We note that Eucherius’s characterization of the “Old Testament” and the “New Testament” as the “prophets and apostles” in this introductory passage, although not unique to him, also appears in the Fragment (ll. 78–80). Additional minor correspondences of content are also evident in the Fragment. For example, citing 1 John 1:1–4, the Fragment itemizes the ears, eyes, and hands as attesting to the  O’Loughlin, “Symbol Gives Life,” 236.  O’Loughlin, “Symbol Gives Life,” 250. 53  Eucherius of Lyons, Formulae, trans. Karen Rae Keck (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 1966), with modifications. Eucherius, Formulae, pref. (ed. Mandolfo, 1–2; ed. Wotke 3–6): “Eucherius Verano filio in Christo salutem. Formulas spiritalis intellegentiae conponendas tibique mittendas pro studio paternae erga te sollicitudinis existimaui, quibus perceptis in omnia scripta diuina facile se ad intellectum sequax sensus intenderet. Nam cum littera occidat, spiritus autem uiuificet, necesse est ad illa spiritalium interiora sermonum spiritu uiuificante penetrari. Vniuersam porro Scripturam tam ueteris instrumenti quam noui ad intellectum allegoricum esse sumendam ammonet nos uel illud quod in ueteri testamento legimus: Aperiam in parabolis os meum, loquar aenigmata antiqua, uel illud, quod in nouo testamento scribitur: Haec omnia locutus est Iesus in parabolis ad turbas et sine parabolis non loquebatur eis. Nec mirandum quod sermo diuinus prophetarum apostolorumque ore prolatus ab usitato illo hominibus scribendi modo multum recesserit facilia in promptu habens, magna in interioribus suis continens, quia et re uera fuit congruum, ut sacra Dei dicta a ceteris scriptis sicut merito ita et specie discernerentur.” 51 52


Chapter One: History, Genre, Text

reliability of scripture (ll.  27–34). Eucherius’s chapter 1 takes up tripartite anthropological descriptions of God in biblical texts. In each case, Eucherius lists: (a) God’s body part together with an allegorical interpretation; (b) a quotation formula (e. g., in psalmo, in euangelio); followed by (c) at least one biblical passage in which the body part occurs: The eyes of the Lord are understood as the divine gaze; in the psalm: the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous (Ps 33[34]:16[15]). The ears of the Lord when he deigns to hear; in the psalm: and his ears toward their cries (Ps 33[34]:16[17]). The mouth of the Lord as conversation with human beings; in the prophet: the mouth of the Lord has spoken (Isa 1:20).54

A similarly ordered but differently allegorized trio of eyes, ears, and mouth appears in chapter 6 “On the Inner Human Being,” to which an allegory of the hands is added: The eyes are the understanding of faith and are simple; in the gospel: blessed are your eyes because they have seen. And in their negative aspect in the gospel: if your eye were worthless (Matt 13:16; cf. 6:23). The ears are obedience to the faith; in the gospel: and your ears because they have heard (Matt 13:16). The mouth is conversation itself; in the psalm: the mouth of the righteous meditates on wisdom (Ps 36[37]:30)… . The hand is work; in the psalm: and I have washed my hands among innocents (Ps 25[26]:6). The right hand is good works; in the gospel: let your left hand not know what your right has done (Matt 6:3). The left hand is works that are not good; in the gospel: the same as above.55

Formulae 2 lists the allegorical meanings of astronomical and meteorological phenomena including the sun, moon, stars, winds, etc. It opens with correspondences between nature and the Bible, juxtaposing, as in the preface and Fragment ll. 78–80, but here prioritizing, the Christian (apostles)56 over the Jewish (prophets) scriptures: 54 “Oculi Domini intelleguntur inspectio diuina; in psalmo: Oculi Domini super iustos. Aures Domini cum exaudire dignatur; in psalmo: Et aures eius in preces eorum. Os Domini sermo ad homines; in propheta: Os Domini locutum est” (ed. Mandolfo, 6; ed. Wotke, 7). 55 “Oculi intellectus fidelis et simplex; in euangelio: Vestri autem beati oculi quia uident; et in malam partem in euangelio: Si oculus tuus nequam fuerit. Aures obaudientia fidelis; in euangelio: Et aures uestrae quia audiunt… . Manus opus; in psalmo: Et laui inter innocentes manus meas. Dextera opera bona; in euangelio: Nesciat sinistra tua quid faciat dextera tua. Sinistra opera non bona; in euangelio idem quod supra” (ed. Mandolfo, 42–43; cf. ed. Wotke, 35–36). 56  “Apostle” (singular) refers to Paul, e. g., Book 8: “Stare fide consistere; in apostolo: State

C. Theoretical Issues


The heavens are the apostles or the saints, the same where the Lord dwells; in the psalm: the heavens tell the glory of the Lord (Ps 18[19]:2[1]). The clouds are the prophets and the saints, which rain the word of the Lord; in Isaiah: I shall order the clouds above to rain (Isa 5:6).57

Chapters 3–10 demonstrate formal similarity to the Fragment. Chapter 3 expresses spiritual meanings of the earth – mountains, hills, valleys, rocks, etc. The first line draws a correspondence to the New Testament. The earth [stands for] the human being itself; in the Gospel: another [seed] fell on good soil (Mark 4:8). It is likewise used in a negative respect for the sinner: You shall devour the earth all the days of your life (Gen 3:14).58

Citations of the four gospels are a feature of chapter 3 with twenty occurrences in sixty-eight formulae. For example, The threshing floor is the church; in the Gospel: and he will clean your threshing floor (Matt 3:12). The winnowing fork is the testing of the righteous by God; in the Gospel: whose winnowing fork is in his hand (Matt 3:12). The wheat is the saints and the chosen of God; in the Gospel: and he will gather his wheat in a storehouse (Matt 3:12). Barley is the letter of the law; in the Gospel: there is one boy, who has five loaves of barley bread (John 6:9).59

Chapter 4 “On Animals” characterizes Christians as birds (chick, eagle, ostrich, pelican, crow, partridge,60 dove, turtledove, kite, hawk, owl, sparrow, cock, hen) in fide” (“To stand is to persist in the faith; in the apostle (1 Cor 16:13): ‘stand in faith’”) (ed. Mandolfo, 58; ed. Wotke, 49). 57  “Caeli apostoli siue sancti, ideo quod Dominus habitet in eis; in psalmo: Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei. Nubes prophetae siue sancti, quia pluant uerbum Domini; in Esaia: Mandabo nubibus desuper ne pluant” (ed. Mandolfo, 8; ed. Wotke, 9). 58  “Terra homo ipse; in euangelio: Aliud cecidit in terram bonam. item in malam partem de peccatore: Terram edes omnibus diebus uitae tuae” (ed. Mandolfo, 13; ed. Wotke, 13). 59 “Area ecclesia; in euangelio: Et permundabit aream suam. Ventilabrum examen iustitiae Dei; in euangelio: Cuius uentilabrum in manu sua. Triticum sancti uel electi Dei; in euangelio: Et congregabit triticum suum in horreum. Hordeum legis littera; in euangelio: Est puer unus hic qui habet quinque panes hordiacios” (ed. Mandolfo, 16; ed. Wotke, 15). 60  “Perdix diabolus; in propheta: Clamauit perdix, congregauit quae non peperit” (ed. Mandolfo, 27; ed. Wotke, 23). “The partridge is the devil; in the prophet: “the partridge has cried, it has gathered that which it has not sown” (Jer 17:11). Robert McEachnie notes that Chromatius rails against heretics as “partridges,” surmising that Chromatius borrowed the idea from Origen or Ambrose (Chromatius of Aquileia and the Making of a Christian City [New York: Routledge, 2017], 16–17). Chromatius, as it happens, offers a possible textual parallel to part of the MF (see Chapter 5). Cf. two different episodes in which John is occupied by a partridge (watching it flail in the dust or gently stroking it), but onlookers criticize the bird as beneath John. See Eric Junod and Jean-Daniel Kaestli, eds., Acta Iohannis, CCSA 1–2 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1983), 2:145–58.


Chapter One: History, Genre, Text

allegorizing primarily flight as higher order spirituality, especially as it expresses itself in scriptural exegesis: The birds are the saints, because they fly to the higher heart; in the gospel: and he made great branches that the birds of the air might live in their shade (Mark 4:32). Flying is the death of the saints in God or the knowledge of the Scriptures; in the psalm: I shall fly and I shall be at rest (Ps 54[55]:7, Vulgate). The wings are the two testaments; in Ezekiel: your body will fly with two wings of its own (Ezek 1:23). The feathers are the Scriptures; in the psalm: the wings of the silver dove (Ps 67[68]:14[13]).61

In contrast, more than one ground-dwelling animal represents the devil. The leopard is the devil, or the untrustworthy sinner in death; in the prophet: as an Ethiopian cannot change his skin nor a leopard his spots (Jer 13:23). The elephant is a great sinner; in Kings: and they led apes and elephants to Solomon (3 Kings 10:22). The bear is the devil, or the barbarian leaders; in Kings: two bears were brought forth and they ate them (4 Kgdms 2:24)… . The wolf is the devil or heretics; in the gospel: the wolves are inherently rapacious. The same in a good part: Benjamin, meaning the Apostle Paul, is a ravenous wolf (Matt 7:15; Gen 49:27).62

Foxes, dogs, frogs, snakes, dragons, scorpions, and vipers also represent the devil or his minions.63 Other ground dwellers, however, signify the Lord or Christ: The lion is the Lord: the lion from the tribe of Judah conquers; again, in another aspect: let the lion seize my soul at any time (Rev 5:5; Ps 7:3[2]).64 The stag is Christ, or the saints; as a deer longs for the streams of water (Ps 41[42]:2[1]).65 61  “Aues sancti, quod ad superiora corde euolent; in euangelio: Et fecit ramos magnos ita ut possent sub umbra eius aues caeli habitare. Volatus sanctorum excessus in Deo uel in scripturis intellectus; in psalmo: Et uolabo et requiescam. Alae duo testamenta; in Ezechiele: Vnumquodque duabus alis uelabat corpus suum. Pinnae Scripturae; in psalmo: Pinnae columbae deargentatae” (ed. Mandolfo, 25; ed. Wotke, 22). 62  “Pardus diabolus uel peccator moribus uarius; in propheta: Sicut Aethiops non mutabit pellem et pardus uarietatem. Elephans peccator immanis; in Regnorum: Et adducebant ad Salomonem simias et elephantos. Vrsus diabolus aut duces saeui; in Regnorum: Et egressi sunt duo ursi et comederunt eos… . Lupus diabolus uel heretici; in euangelio: Intrinsecus autem sunt lupi rapaces. item in bonam partem: Beniamin lupus rapax, apostolum Paulum significans” (ed. Mandolfo, 29–30; ed. Wotke, 25). 63  Frogs represent demons (ed. Mandolfo, 34; ed. Wotke, 29). 64  “Leo Dominus: Vicit leo de tribu Iuda; item in aliam partem; Ne quando rapiat ut leo animam meam” (ed. Mandolfo, 29; ed. Wotke, 25). 65  “Ceruus Christus uel sancti: Sicut ceruus desiderat ad fontes aquarum” (ed. Mandolfo, 30; ed. Wotke, 25).

C. Theoretical Issues


Chapter 5, De variis nominum appellationibus, lists various human titles (man, woman, virgin, king, queen, father, mother, brother sister, etc.) with their significations. The line explicating the two titles father and mother is the last line of the Formulae now present in the Muratorian Codex (fols. 8v–9v; most suspect a multi-quire lacuna follows).66 It occurs approximately one-quarter of the way through that book and alludes to Eph 5:25:67 Husband and wife are Christ and the church, knowledge of the spirit and history of the Scriptures; in the Apostle: men, love your wives as Christ has loved the church.68

In Chapter 7, “On the Useful or the Ordinary” (De his, quae in usu atque in medio habentur), Eucherius refers to scripture as sweet honey immediately followed by a reference to bitter bile as ill-will: Honey is the sweet teaching of God; in the psalm: how much sweeter your eloquence is to my throat, O Lord, than honey is in my mouth. The same in Solomon: finding honey, eat as much as is enough, lest you vomit in overabundance, that is, lest you seek what is too great for you. (ll. 12–16)69 Bile is the love of malice; in the psalm: they gave me bile for food. (ll. 17–18)70

The Fragment also allegorizes honey as scripture. With regard to the Epistle to the Laodiceans, the Epistle to the Alexandrians, and books forged in the name of Marcion, the Fragment declares, they “cannot be received in the catholic church because it is not acceptable to mix gall with honey” (ll. 66–67), that is, God’s teaching is corrupted when mixed with such instruction (see the full discussion below in Chapter 6). Chapter 9 interprets Jerusalem as the church, the soul of a Christian, and the body of Christ: Jerusalem is the church or the soul; in the psalm: praise the Lord, Jerusalem. Also noteworthy: that whatever things come generally together into the church, can also be related to the soul (Ps 147:12). Zion is the same as above; in the psalm: praise your God, Zion (Ps 147:12).  See discussion in Chapter 3.  Eph 5:25 (Vulgate): Viri, diligite uxores, sicut et Christus dilexit ecclesiam et seipsum tradidit pro ea. 68  “Vir et uxor Christus et ecclesia, intellectus spiritalis et historia Scripturarum; in apostolo: Viri diligite uxores uestras sicut et Christus dilexit ecclesiam” (ed. Mandolfo, 37; ed. Wotke, 31). The quotation formula in apostolo refers to a corpus Paulinum. 69 “Mel dulcedo praeceptorum Dei: in psalmo: Quam dulcia faucibus meis eloquia tua, Domine, super mel ori meo. item aliter in Salomone: Inueniens mel manduca quod satis est, ne forte satiatus euomas, id est, altiora te ne quaesieris” (ed. Mandolfo, 48; ed. Wotke, 40). Cf. Ps 118(119):103; Prov 25:16; Eccl 3:22. References in this codex to honey could suggest a setting of monks or nuns keeping bees on a rural estate. 70  “Fel amaritudo malitiae; in psalmo: dederunt in escam meam fel” (ed. Mandolfo, 48; ed. Wotke, 40). Cf. Ps 68(69):22(21) Vulgate. 66 67


Chapter One: History, Genre, Text

The sons of Zion are the sons of the church; in the psalm: let the sons of Zion rejoice in the king (Ps 149:2). The sons of Jerusalem are the same as above. The tabernacle is the body of the Lord or the church; in the psalm: his tent (tabernacle) is pitched in the sun (Ps 18[19]:6[4], Vulgate).71

In chapter 10, Eucherius treats the significance of numbers in scripture – a topic also important to the Fragment. Regarded as a code for deciphering biblical mysteries, Eucherius interprets the significance of twenty-four individual numbers,72 including the following statements:73 2. [This number refers] to the two testaments; in Kings: and He made in Dabir two cherubim in the measure of 10 cubits (1 Kgs 6:23). 3. [This number refers] to the Trinity; in the epistle of John: three are those who bear witness: water, blood, and spirit (1 John 5:8).74 4. [This number refers] to the four evangelists; in Ezekiel: and from the middle of them the likeness of four animals (Ezek 1:5).75 5. [This number refers] to the five books of Moses; in the apostle: I wish to speak five words in the church with my mind (1 Cor 14:19). 6. [This number refers] to the sixth day on which the Lord made man along with all the animals of the land; in Genesis: let us make man in our image and likeness; the same a little later: and it was done, evening and morning, the sixth day (Gen 1:26, 31). 7. [This number refers] to the seventh day on which God rested after all that He had done; in Genesis: and he rested on the seventh day from the whole work that he had accomplished (Gen 2:2).76 71  “Hierusalem ecclesia uel anima; in psalmo: Lauda Hierusalem Dominum. Et notandum, quod quaecumque in ecclesiam generaliter conueniunt haec et ad animam referri possunt. Sion idem quod supra; in psalmo: Lauda Deum tuum Sion. Filii Sion filii ecclesiae; in psalmo: Et filii Sion exultent super rege suo. Filiae Hierusalem idem quod supra. Tabernaculum corpus Domini uel ecclesia; in psalmo: In sole posuit tabernaculum suum” (ed. Mandolfo, 61; ed. Wotke, 51). 72 Augustine interprets the significance of 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 40, and 153 (Doctr. chr. 2.16,25; 2.16,26; 2.28,42; 2.39,59). Having suggested that various things should be put into classes, he thus advances his list of significant numbers; cf. Doctr. chr. 3.35,50–51. See O’Loughlin, “Symbol Gives Life,” 242 n. 92. 73  See further discussion below (Chapter 7). 74  Eucherius’s reference to the Comma Johanneum may correspond to its repetition elsewhere in the Muratorian Codex. Guerrino Amelli, “Nuove testimonianze sull’autenticità del versicolo settimo, Cap. V, Ep. I, di S. Giovanni,” La Scuola cattolica, 3 (1874): 490–96, especially the table on 495. 75  Ex medio refers to Ezekiel’s vision of the animals in the “middle” of the fire in Ezek 1:5. A related idea from Ezekiel appears in the codex at fol. 4v, citing Formulae 4 (De Animantibus, ll. 7–8). 76 “Ad duo testamenta: in Regnorum: Et fecit in Dabir duo Cherubin in decem cubitorum magnitudine. Ad trinitatem: in Iohannis epistula: Tria sunt quae testimonium perhibent: aqua sanguis spiritus. Ad quattuor euangelia: in Ezechiele: Et ex medio eorum similitudo quattuor animalium. Ad quinque libros Mosi; apostolus: In ecclesia uolo quinque uerba sensu meo loqui. Ad diem sextum, quo Dominus hominem cum uniuersis terrae animantibus fecit; in Genesi: Faciamus hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram; item paulo post: Et factum est

C. Theoretical Issues


The last line of Formulae 10 concludes: We have put forth, therefore, as examples those certain and holy numbers. Assuredly, more beyond these exist, and you will find that almost all, which are made by the very means of divine reading, are sacred.77

The initial lines of the Fragment (e. g., preface to the Gospel of Matthew or Mark) would have followed this line in an unmutilated Muratorian Codex or its unmutilated exemplar.78 While it is impossible to know what the Fragment’s initial statement was, it may have resembled its extant statements about Luke and John; Papias’s remark about Matthew: “Matthew ordered the logia in the Hebrew language and each translated them as he was able” (apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.39.15–16);79 or the anti-Marcionite comment about Mark: “Mark, who was called Colobodactylus, because he had fingers that were too small for the height of the rest of his body, recorded… He himself was the interpreter of Peter. After the death of Peter himself, the same man wrote this gospel in the parts of Italy.”80 Immediately following the Fragment in the Muratorian Codex are two copies of the same fragment from Ambrose, De Abraham (fols. 12r–13v). As a chapter in Ambrose’s sermon series, De Patriarchis, these lines from De Abraham could correspond to Formulae 10 by their exploration of the symbolic value of the patriarch’s 318 servants (Gen 14:14). On fols. 12r–19r, Eucherius’s Instructiones come after the two identical fragments from De Abraham. Eucherius wrote this work in two books for his son, Salonius. Book 1 selects exegetical problems and provides solutions often using a question-and-answer format. Book 2 mostly comprises lists of arcane words. Some manuscripts, including one of the older ones, con­ espere et factum est mane dies sextus. Ad diem septimum in quo perfectis omnibus Dominus u requieuit; in Genesi: Et requieuit die septimo ab uniuerso opere quod patrarat” (ed. Mandolfo, 72–73; ed. Wotke, 59–60). 77  “Hos igitur certos sacratosque numeros exempli tantum causa protulimus. Sunt uero praeter eos plurimi uel paene omnes sacrati qui quomodo fiant ipse diuinae lectionis scrutator inuenies” (ed. Mandolfo, 76; ed. Wotke, 62). 78 As Hahneman points out: (1) the Fragment’s Gospel order is most likely Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; and, (2) the first line (quibus tamen interfuit et ita posuit) suggests that the author of the second gospel was an eyewitness perhaps, as in Papias (apud Eusebius Hist. eccl. 3.39.15; cf. Justin, Dial. 106; Irenaeus, Haer. 3.1.1; Tertullian, Marc. 4.5; Origen apud Eusebius Hist. eccl. 6.25.2), Mark was thought to be an eyewitness to Peter’s life and ministry. Muratorian Fragment, 184–85. See discussion in Chapter 6. If, as discussed below, arithmology is a structural principle and theme of the Fragment, it may be no coincidence that the Fragment appears in the codex just where Eucherius’s chapter on number symbolism (Formulae 10: De numeris) would have been, had the pages not fallen out. I wish to thank Jeremy Thompson for this observation. 79 Περὶ δὲ τοῦ Ματθαίου ταῦτ᾿ εἴρηται· “Ματθαῖος μὲν οὖν Ἑβραΐδι διαλέκτῳ τὰ λόγια συνετάξατο, ἡρμήνευσεν δ᾿ αὐτὰ ὡς ἦν δυνατὸς ἕκαστος” (Greek text, LCL). 80  Shorter version: Marcus adseruit, qui colobodactylus est nominatus, ideo quod ad ceteram corporis proceritatem digitos minores habuisset. Iste interpres fuit Petri. Post excessionem ipsius Petri descripsit idem hoc in Italiae partibus evangelium (Jürgen Regul, ed., Die antimarcionitischen Evangelienprologue [Freiburg: Herder, 1969], 29).


Chapter One: History, Genre, Text

tain the Formulae followed immediately by Book 2 of the Instructiones, omitting Book 1. This may be the version represented by Ambr. I 101 sup., although the probable loss of quires at this point makes it difficult to know.81 The aim of the Instructiones is to define biblical vocabulary (e. g., Hebrew words such as alleluia, important place names such as Jebus, month names such as Nisan, etc.).82 Long lists of word-definitions combining biblical paraphrase and catechetical teaching characterize the work.83 The first line of the Instructiones 81  Carmela Mandolfo offers the most current study of the problem in her edition of Eucherius’s works (viii–ix). Her position is tersely stated in the CCSL edition. Wotke had held that Eucherius wrote both a long and short version. Mandolfo argues that the short version was a later, medieval abridgment of the long version, which alone is authorial. One point that Mandolfo does not address, but which bears on the question of the composition of Ambr. I 101 sup., is whether the Formulae and Instructiones in this copy can be related to a single textual group. Mandolfo seems to accept that they are from one group without further interrogation. See further Mandolfo’s extensive list of publications (introduction of Formulae, xlvii) and the more recent, “Sulla Praefatio programmatica delle Formulae spiritalis intellegentiae e sulla terminologia esegetica di Eucherio di Lione,” Sileno 38 (2012): 151–80. According to Jeremy Thompson’s survey of the manuscripts (private email exchange), there were several expansions of Eucherius’s original text of the Formulae. There is no edition of these interpolated versions, but there are some preliminary comments by Franz Pauly, who prepared an edition of the Formulae in 1884. See Franz Pauly, “Sancti Eucherii Lugdunensis episcopi libellus de formulis spiritualis intelligentiae,” Jahresbericht des k.k. ersten Staats-Gymnasiums in Graz (1884): 3–56. The versions mentioned by Pauly must postdate Gregory the Great (who is quoted) and probably date to the eleventh century at the earliest. The expansions appear to take off in the twelfth century in a Cistercian milieu. Most of the manuscripts seem to be south German or Austrian. The edition in the Patrologia Latina is one of the interpolated versions based on a now-lost manuscript (perhaps lost, according to Mandolfo, in Ottoman raids on Vienna in the seventeenth century). This version is found in no extant manuscript, although it shares some similarities with works by Hrabanus Maurus. It may, thus, represent a Carolingian (or subsequent) expansion. Wotke also studied a Carolingian abridgment of the Formulae. In this text, all entries have been taken out of Eucherius’s original hierarchical order and alphabetized as a reference work. See K. Wotke, “Glossae spiritales secundum Eucherium episcopum,” Sitzungsberichte der kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-historische Classe 115 (1887): 425–39. The Muratorian Codex omits chapters 1 and 2 of the Instructiones Book 2. Chapter 1 addresses Hebrew names (de nominibus hebraicis). In the early Middle Ages, an important tradition of texts arose concerning Hebrew names, going back mainly to Jerome, but expanded and modified. See Olivier Szerwiniack, “Les Interpretationes nominum Hebraicorum progenitorum Iesu Christi (ALC 62): une oeuvre authentique d’Alcuin,” Annales de Bretagne et des pays de l’Ouest 111 (2004): 289–99; idem, “Les recueils d’interprétations de noms hébreux: les irlandais et le wisigoth Théodulf,” Scriptorium 48 (1994): 187–258. 82  Salonius is said to have composed a work of questions and responses on Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Matthew, and John, but his authorship of the transmitted work is disputed (C. Curti, “Quaestiones et Responsiones on Holy Scripture,” Encyclopedia of the Early Church, ed. A. Diberardino [New York: Oxford, 1992], 2:727–28, here: 727). A number of the works in the Muratorian Codex are dedicated to disciples – sons or otherwise (cf. Chrysostom, Ep. Theod. I, fols. 31v–71v). 83  The last line of De expositione diversarum rerum in the codex is the section’s last line (i. e., before the next section entitled, De gentibus): in Regum cenotaphia simulacra quae Graece ΜΟΡΦΩΜΑΤΑ. sed haec hactenus. Nunc etiam illus accipe, ut quaedam nomina prius scriptura appellaverit et ut nunc vocentur.

C. Theoretical Issues


recorded in the Muratorian Codex (i. e., the verse abutting the second Ambrosian excerpt) comes from the third section of Book 2 entitled, De expositione diversarum rerum.84 It addresses the meaning of the word, mandrakes (solanaceae or nightshades) in the book of Genesis: Mandragora in Genesi genus pomi85 simillimum paruo peponi specie uel odere. Mazuroth in Iob ζῳδίοις quae duodecim signa mathematici asserunt.86 The mandrake in Genesis is a kind of fruit very similar to a small watermelon [gourd] in appearance or scent. Mazzaroth in Job [38:31–32] is the zodiac [constellation], which astrologers assert are twelve signs.87

The Fragment exhibits both formulaic and dialogical aspects resembling Eucherius’s works. Whereas MF ll. 42–46 are more formulaic: First, To the Corinthians, prohibiting the heresy of schism. (l. 42) Next, To the Galatians, prohibiting circumcision. (l. 43) Then, To the Romans, with a series of scriptures, but he also wrote at length making known that Christ was their origin. (l. 44)

lines 26–31 are more dialogical: Is it a miracle then that John very constantly brings forward details as yet in his epistles, saying about himself: “What we have seen with our eyes and heard with our ears, and touched with our hands, these things we have written to you?” (1 John 1:1)

Lightfoot once postulated that the Fragment was originally conceived in Greek meter.88 This argument picks up on the frequently overlooked propositional quality of many individual lines. Take, for example, these extant opening lines: After the ascension of Christ, this Luke, a physician, (for Paul had taken him on as a follower learned in the law) redacted [the book] in his own name from reports. Yet he himself did not see the Lord in the flesh. (ll. 2–7)

Without discounting the occasionally longer and more complex sentence, the Fragment has a terse, sometimes pithy quality seldom appreciated since Lightfoot. Turning from form to content, the Carolingian Period witnessed a surge of interest in the accuracy of the scriptures and their interpretation.89 Charlemagne  The preface and first two chapters were apparently never present in the Muratorian Codex.  Cf. Gen 30:14–16. 86  Ed. Mandolfo, 194; ed. Wotke, 146. 87  Cf. 2 Kgs 23:3–5 88 Saint Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon: A Revised Text with Introductions, Notes, and Dissertations (London: Macmillan, 91890), 290 n. 1. 89  John J. Contreni, “Carolingian Biblical Studies,” in Carolingian Essays: Andrew W. Mellon Lectures in Early Christian Studies, ed. Uta-Renate Blumenthal (Washington, D. C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1983), 74–98. 84



Chapter One: History, Genre, Text

requested texts without errors.90 Alcuin (d. 804) produced such a text as did Theodulf of Orléans (d. 821), a Spanish scholar working in Frankland.91 The pedagogical goal of the latter is made clear by his incorporation of “Hilfsmittel” – additional texts intended to guarantee exegetical accuracy, with the beginning reader in mind.92 Four texts occupied the final 25 folios of Theodulf ’s Bible: Isidore of Seville, Chronica minora (Origines 5.39); Eucherius, Instructiones, Book 2; Pseudo-Melito, Clavis, and an abbreviated version of Pseudo-Augustine, Liber de divinis scripturis. Elisabeth Dahlhaus-Berg argues that these four works combined express the threefold method of exegesis: historical, allegorical, and tropological.93 Often an interest in the accuracy of Scripture presented itself in the form of handbooks. Cassiodorus, Isidore of Seville, and Bede each produced a handbook for understanding Scripture.94 Ambr. I 101 sup. is a collection, possibly some kind of ἐγχειρίδιον (“manual” or “handbook”). Its inclusion of Eucherius’s two works suggests a similarly instructive purpose.95 In conclusion, while the Fragment does not resemble most ancient catalogues, and while its content occasionally resembles that of ancient prologues, neither of these generic classifications adequately accounts for its form. Westcott once observed that the Fragment resembles a series of disconnected statements. Lightfoot construed both content and form as poetic. Ferrari acknowledges that the Fragment’s brief definitional statements are similar to the single-statement exegetical propositions of Eucherius’s Formulae, alternating between scriptural messages and catechetical tenets. Ferrari is no doubt correct: formal similiarities between the Formulae, Instructiones, and the Fragment suggest that all three, like wisdom collections such as Proverbs, seek to inculcate knowledge through the mastery of axioms. In the cases of the Formulae, Instructiones, and Fragment, the advice directly pertains to and incorporates biblical citations. In the Formulae, Fragment, and Proverbs, honey is allegorized as acceptable teaching, regarded in turn as vulnerable to proscribed (i. e., bilious) teachings.96 While differences exist, I agree with Ferrari that, generically speaking, the Fragment conforms to the local 90 Contreni,

“Carolingian Biblical Studies,” 77. “Carolingian Biblical Studies,” 77–78. 92  Contreni, “Carolingian Biblical Studies,” 96. 93 Contreni, “Carolingian Biblical Studies,” 79, citing Dahlhaus-Berg, Nova Antiquitas et Antiqua Novitas. Typologische Exegese und isidorianisches Geschichtsbild bei Theodulf von Orléans, Kölner Historische Abhandlungen 23 (Köln-Wien: Böhlau, 1975), 86–87. 94 Contreni, “Carolingian Biblical Studies,” 74. 95 Contreni, “Carolingian Biblical Studies,” 91. Many early medieval exegetes sought to simplify elaborate patristic commentaries in order to make the ideas accessible and avoid intimidating readers (Contreni, “Carolingian Biblical Studies,” 91, citing Alcuin, n. 75). Glosses, thus, functioned as a teaching tool when the style and/or content of the patristic exegete went over the heads of readers (Contreni, “Carolingian Biblical Studies,” 97). 96  MF ll. 61–63, 66; Eucherius, Formulae 7 (ed. Mandolfo, 48; ed. Wotke, 40). E. g., Prov 5:3– 4; 16:24; 24:13–14; cf. 25:16, 27; 27:7; Ps 19:7–11; 119:103; Isa 7:15. 91 Contreni,

D. Text and Translation


codicological context of Eucherius’s compilations of seriatim propositional statements. It may have been included in the codex for the affinity to this didactic style, perhaps preferred by its owner.

D. Text and Translation Two Latin texts of the Muratorian Fragment are offered below. The first is my own transcription of Ambr. I 101 sup. fols. 10r–11r based on digital images of each page (images included) and their eyewitness verification. Availability of these high-resolution digital images introduces a previously unavailable level of sophistication in the examination of the text.97 Nevertheless, the transcription below is collated in the apparatus with Tregelles’s facsimile as well as Lietzmann’s and Preuschen’s transcriptions. Most textual problems involve what they could see with the naked eye. This transcription is included as a comparative tool for readers, particularly for the forthcoming discussion of the Fragment’s Latinity (Chapter 4). As readers will later learn, I am not convinced that the original text was “in error,” if the scribe of Ambr. I 101 sup. copied an archetype in a script with unfamiliar abbreviations. Following the transcription, a critical edition of the text is provided as a heuristic tool for modern Latin readers. Because the text is preserved in only one manuscript and, thus, has no transmitted variants, with the possible exception of the Benedictine Prologues (discussed in Chapter 5), modern editorial emendations and conjectures are listed as completely as possible. The first register of the critical apparatus provides all emendations and conjectures. The second register contains a selection of significant analogues.98 Many are also followed up in the commentary. The English translation is based on the critical edition. The difficulty of ascertaining the Fragment’s genre stultifies the choice of line breaks in the critical edition. Although, as discussed, I am not convinced that the original text was verse, neither ought its fractional quality to be ignored. I have 97  See for example the footnotes comparing the conjectures of Ceriani, Tregelles, Hertz, Muratori, Reifferscheid, and Wieseler in Zahn’s edition (Geschichte, 2.1:5–8). 98  Migne’s text in the Patrologia Latina (3:176–202 [1844]) is a reprint of Routh’s first edition, Reliquiae sacrae, 4:3–37 (1814). Three changes take place between Routh and the PL reprint. The introductory matter is lifted directly from Routh, his in-line textual comments are turned into annotations, and the subsequent commentary is reprinted in footnote form. The text adds nothing new from manuscript research and makes little or no attempt at intelligent emendation; it has thus been excluded. However, the edition is useful for recovering some of the lost emendations of Franciscus Freindaller, Caii Romani presbyteri uti videtur fragmentum acephalum de Canone divinorum novi foederis librorum Commentatio (Linz: Typis Feichtingerianis, 1803). For Tregelles’s confused understanding of the bibliographical data of this work, see Canon Muratorianus, 14 n. “a.” With Muratori, Freindaller understood the Fragmentist to be Gaius of Rome.


Chapter One: History, Genre, Text

opted to retain the manuscript’s line breaks because it greatly simplifies comparison across editions. Sources and sigla are as follows (alphabetical by siglum): B H K L M


(Hertz apud Bunsen) Christian J. Bunsen, Analecta Ante Nicaena, vol. 1: Reliquiae literariae, Christianity and Mankind 5 (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1854), 125–55. Geoffrey Mark Hahneman, The Muratorian Fragment and the Development of the Canon (Oxford: Clarendon, 1992), 6–7. Gottfried Kuhn, Das Muratorische Fragment uber die Bücher des neuen Testaments (Zürich: Höhr, 1892), 10–16. Hans Lietzmann, Das Muratorische Fragment und die monarchianischen Prologe zu den Evangelien, Kleine Texte 1 (Bonn: A. Marcus, E. Weber, 1902; Berlin: De Gruyter, 21933), 5–11. Ludovico Antonio Muratori, “De Literarum Statu, neglectu, & cultura in Italia post Barbaros in eam invectos usque ad Annum Christi Millesimum Centesimum,” in Antiquitates Italicae Medii Aevi (Milan: Ex Typographia Societatis Palatinae, 1740; repr., Bologna: Arnaldo Forni Editore, 1965), 3:853–54. Erwin Preuschen, ed., Analecta: Kürzere Texte zur Geschichte der alten Kirche und des Kanons (Tübingen: Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 21910; 11893), 27–35. Saverio Ritter, “Il Frammento Muratoriano,” Rivista di archeologia Cristiana della pontificia commissione di archeologia sacra 3 (1926): 215–63; the Greek reconstruction, based on Kuhn and Zahn, appears on 246–54. Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, Canon Muratorianus: The Earliest Catalogue of the Books of the New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon, 1867), 17–21. B. F. Westcott, A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament, (Cambridge: Macmillan, 71896). Theodor Zahn, Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons, 2 vols. (Erlangen: Deichert, 1890), 1:1–143, here: 140–43. Also printed in Gottfried Kuhn, Das Mura­ torische Fragment über die Bücher des Neuen Testaments (Zürich: Höhr, 1892), 109–13.

Abbreviations in the footnotes and critical apparatus: A Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, I 101 sup. a.c. ante correctionem corr. correxit del. delevit om. omisit p.c. post correctionem suppl. supplevit suspic. suspicatus est vid. vide

D. Text and Translation



Chapter One: History, Genre, Text

1. quibus tamen interfuit et ita posuit ‘ 2. tertio euangelii librum secaundo lucan99 3. lucas iste medicus post ascensum xpi100 4. cum eo paulus quasi ut iuris studiosum 5. secundum adsumsisset numeni suo 6. ex opinione concribset101 dnm tamen nec ipse 7. d102 uidit in carne et idē prout asequi potuit’ 8. ita et ad natiuitate iohannis Incipet dicere 9. quarti euangeliorum. iohannis ex decipolis 10. cohortantibus condescipulis et eps suis 11. dixit conieiunate mihi. odie triduo et quid 12. ćuique fuerit reuelatum alterutrum 13. nobis ennarremus eadem nocte reue 14. latum andreae103 ex apostolis ut recognis 15. centibus cuntis iohannis suo nomine 16. cuncta discriberet104 et ideo licit uaria sin 17. culis euangeliorum libris principia 18. doceantur nihil tamen differt creden 19. tium f i edei105 cum uno ac principali s̄ pū de 20. clarata sint in omnibus omnia de natiui 21. tate106 de passione de resurrectione 22. de conuersatione107 cum decipulis suis 23. ac de gemino108 eius aduentu 24. primo109 in humilitate dispectus quod fo 25. it110 secundum potestate regali p… pre111 26. clarum112 quod foturum est. quid ergo 27. mirum si iohannes tam constanter

fol. 10r

 99  Lucan]  fortasse  Lucanum. See C. H. Turner, “Prolegomena to the Testimonia of St. Cyprian,” JTS 6 (1905): 246–70, here: 256–57. 100  χρι] R 101  concripset R P 102  Lietzmann accurately records a bisecting line through the letter d, apparently understanding it as a cancellation mark as in secundo (secando before correction) in line 2. 103  andreae] -reae in rasura 104  discribret with “c” hovering over “r” L 105 i  f edei ] ut videtur; f iedei T, fidei P L 106  -tate] ut videtur 107 de c-] ut videtur 108  ac de gemi-] ut videtur 109  prim-] ut videtur 110 -it secun-] ut videtur T. Tregelles uses italics to indicate his view that these letters are not “merely faded,” but “erased by a corrector” (Canon Muratorianus, 17). This part of the page is faded, and the beginnings of lines 22–26 are almost impossible to read. Cf. Ritter, “Il Frammento,” image following p. 263. The digital image all but confirms that “t” is the second of two letters. 111  p … pre] in rasura. Tregelles omits “p…,” although it is clear (Canon Muratorianus, 18). Buchanan reads pis, which he expands as patris (“Codex Muratorianus,” JTS 9 [1907]: 537–45, here: 539–40). 112  clarum] ut videtur

D. Text and Translation


28. sincula etiā in epistulis suis proferam113 29. dicens in semeipsu que114 uidimus oculis 30. nostris et auribus audiuimus et manun115 31. nostrae palpauerunt haec scripsimuB’116

 proferat T T P L. A cedilla in the form of “123 42. primū omnium corintheis scysme124 heresis in 43. terdicens deinceps B callætis125 circumcisione 44. romanis autē ornidine126 scripturarum sed &127 45. principium earum ess128 esse xpm intimans 46. prolexius scripsit de quibus sincolis neces 47. se est ad nobis desputari cum ipse beatus 48. apostulus paulus sequens prodecessuris129 sui130 49. iohannis ordinē non nisi dnomenatī131 semptaē132 50. ecclesieis133 scribat ordine tali a corenthios 51. prima. ad efesius134 seconda ad philippinses ter 52. tia ad colosensis quarta ad calatas quin 53. ta ad tensaolenecinsis sexta. ad romanus135 54. septima uerum corentheis etuhesaolecen136 55. sibus licet pro correbtione137 iteretur una 56. tamen per omnem orbem terrae ecclesia

f. 10v

 dns a.c.  sicute A a.c. T, sicuti Ap.c. 119 ad[b] T 120  urbes] in rasura, T urbe, P urbe* L 121  profic[e]scentis L 122  uolentatibus] in rasura; uolentibus Ap.c. L, uoluntatibus Ap.c., volentatibus T, uolen//tibus P 123 ζ T 124  scysmae T P L. “ c; intervocalically: -i- > -g-; and, in the initial syllable: exc > sc, ext > st, and hist > st.126 Ferrari considers a codex with such a great number of phonetic and morphological problems unusual. One can, she says, certainly understand Muratori’s frustration over librariorum incuria atque ignorantia (“the carelessness and ignorance of the copyists”).127 At the same time, she acknowledges that this source is practically unmatched for its value to the study of Latin pronunciation in northern Italy among the Goths and Lombards in the late Empire. Studies have been carried out on the language of Longobardian documents and high medieval authors active in the subalpine and Po Valley regions, but few investigations compare these books to classical, late antique, and barbaric exempla, such as Ambr. I 101 sup. Chapter 4 (“Latinity”) examines in greater detail possible implications of the script and morphology of this text. Attempts by Mercati to understand corrective interventions in Ambr. I 101 sup. supplement Ferrari’s examination of the manuscript.128 The primary copyist always uses brown ink. Additional correctors edit using different color inks: ocher, greyish, or greygreen. To make corrections, the primary copyist often revises the 122 Ferrari,

“Il Codex Muratorianus,” 23. Petrucci, “L’onciale romana: origini, sviluppo e diffusione di una stilizzazione grafica altomedievale (sec. VI–IX),” Studi medievali 3/12 (1971): 75–134. 124 If the Muratorian Codex was, as some scholars believe, copied from a single archetype, that text is unlikely to have possessed minuscules since they are contemporaneous with the Muratorian Codex. 125 Tregelles notes: “It is worthy of notice, that in the ms the opposite pages 11b [verso] and 12a [recto] commence with the same line, so that the repeated fragment and the former transcript are on the parts of the pages directly in front of each other; and yet the transcriber neither appears to have been conscious that he was repeating his work, nor yet that the former transcript might have been a check on the reptition” (Canon Muratorianus, 24). 126  See the abbreviation hypothesis in Chapter 4. 127  Muratori, Antiquitates Italicae, 3:851, 854. 128  Mercati, Varia, 7–8, 10–15. 123 Armando


Chapter Three: Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.

strokes of letters by creating the correct letter on top of the original. Now and then, an incorrect letter is erased or rewritten. The copyist also occasionally adds material between the lines, deletes words using a diagonal line, and employs editorial symbols (two and three diagonal lines) to alter word order. The modest extent of these interventions makes dating them on paleographical grounds difficult. Ferrari thinks that the corrections may date back to the eighth century, some (e. g., marginalia observing the repeated passage on fol. 11v) perhaps to the ninth. She observes that one of the editors was concerned about punctuation. This individual (albeit not strictly) uses both strong (three dots forming points of a triangle) and weak stops (the period). The latter is often changed to a period and combined with a small, inverted v. Additional research would be required to derive a date and provenance from the internal punctuation of this codex.129

Organizational Paratext, Ornamentation, Marginalia The heading on fol. 4v is written in cava uncial – a handwriting characteristic of the archives at La Cava (Salerno).130 It is outlined in brown and filled in with red and yellow. (see Appendix I). Intricately decorated initials in a northern Italian style appear on fols. 4v, 12r, 30v, and 31v (partly erased) with zoomorphic motifs on fol. 4v (wings),131 fol. 8v (drinking peacock initial),132 and fol. 28r (drinking peacock initial).133 Other headings (rubricated) roughly imitate the uncials of 129  Ferrari cites J. Vezin, “Le point d’interrogation, un élément de datation et de localization des manuscrits. L’exemple de Saint-Denis au IXe siècle,” Scriptorium 34 (1980): 181–96; Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 25 n. 87. 130  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 23; cf. Bernhard Bischoff, Latin Paleography: Antiquity and the Middle Ages, trans. Dáibhí Ó Cróinín and David Ganz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 99. Associated with this Benedictine monastery is the important library, Biblioteca Statale del Monumento Nazionale Badia di Cava. It contains a collection of public and private documents dating back to the eighth century, including the La Cava Bible (containing the Comma Johanneum) and the Codex Legum Longobardorum. Monte Cassino is about halfway between Rome and Naples. 131  The wings forming the “A” commence Eucherius, Form. 3, a chapter entitled De animantibus. It reads: “The wings are the two testaments; in Ezekiel, your body will fly with two wings of its own” (Ezek 1:23). The text begins with the claim that birds represent the saints “because they fly to the higher heart,” spelling out which birds are saints and why. 132  The Aberdeen Bestiary has a two-page sermon on the allegorical meaning of this image. Like the hedera and cross, the peacock was a common early Christian image. See Marina Vicelja, “Religious Iconography,” in The Routledge Companion to Medieval Iconography, ed. Colin Hourihane (London: Routledge, 2017), 221–34, here: 228. See also Peter and Linda Murray, “Birds, Symbolic,” in Oxford Dictionary of Christian Art, Oxford Quick Reference (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 61: “A peacock drinking can symbolize the Christian drinking from the waters of eternal life.” 133  The decorative features of Ambr. I 101 sup. are as follows: fol. 4v, “A” formed by wings (Ezekiel); fol. 8v, peacock from ornate “V”; fol. 11r, ornamental “A”; fol. 12r, ornate “I”; fol. 14v, ornate “I”; fol. 15v, ornamental “A”; fol. 16r, ornamental “I”; fol. 17r, red horizontal woven

C. Paleography and Orthography of Ambr. I 101 sup.


the text,134 although some are written with mixed majuscules. A red spiral motif (woven or interlacing rope pattern) oriented vertically in the middle of fol. 19r forces the text of this page into two columns, making the page unique in the codex. A related red rope pattern also appears on fols. 17r and 19r. Fillers terminate numerous columns with spiral motifs or hederae distinguentes (i. e., ivy leaves as interpuncts). The hederae also appear on each side of running headers written in rustic capitals or uncials (Ep. Theod. I only). As late antique traditions related to the silent reading of scriptura continua, hederae may imitate the manuscript(s) from which this codex was copied.135 Other organizational paratext and marginalia  – including both unintentional and intentional damage, pen tests, marginal notation, doodles, and drawings – are treated in Appendix I.

Summation In conclusion, not all manuscripts of the seventh and eighth centuries preserved by or in the name of Columbanus possess the same origin. Neither do they all share paleographical features or homogeneous orthography. Insular influence on the construction technique of the quires suggests only a general date and provenance. Editorial emendations in Ambr. I 101 sup. are unsystematic. In this regard, it does not resemble other Carolingian codices studied and corrected at Bobbio in the ninth century. Ambr. I 101 sup. also distinguishes itself for a higher degree of apparent vulgarisms. This, too, only suggests a broad northern Italian provenance between the end of the seventh and the middle of the eighth century.136 rope (4x); fol. 19r, vertical red rope continuous; fol. 25r, ornamental “Q”; fol. 28r, ornate “Q” (peacock); fol. 30v, ornate “I” plus hedera; fol. 31r, “I” plus hedera; fol. 31v, ornate “Q” at the beginning of Chrysostom’s letter damaged, expunged, or abandoned in process; fol. 63r, ornamental initial “A”; fol. 71v, conclusion of Ep. Theod. I ornamental red “A” and red incipit, Ambrose, Abr. (draft for two-color design?). Red lettering on fols. 10r, 11r, 12r–v, 13r–v, 14r– v, 15r–v, 16r–v, 17r–v, 18r–v, 19r, 20v, 25r, 26v, 28r, 29v, 31v, 71v, 72r, 73v, 74r, 75r, and 75v. The codex’s decoration shares common features with Ambr. B 159 sup. (CLA 3:309) (scribe-miniaturist, Giorgione); perhaps even more features in common with Ambr. C 77 sup. (CLA 3:317, cf. decoration on fol. 135) (scribe-miniaturist, Nazaris). One or both of these copyists may bear responsibility for Ambr. I 101 sup. (CLA 3:352). Ambr. F 84 sup. (CLA 3:341) (copied earlier than B 158 sup. and C 77 sup.) also shares features in common with Ambr. I 101 sup. (cf. F 84 sup. decoration on fol. 2v). See Gabriel, “Decorated Initials,” 165–66. 134 Rubrication throughout the text frequently appears to represent a separate hand. 135 Paul Saenger, Space Between Words: The Origins of Silent Reading, Figurae: Reading Medieval Culture (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000), 26. Together with hederae, peacock images could suggest that Ambr. I 101 sup. is a copy of a late antique exemplar. Compare the hedera on last page of Matthew (fol. 5v) in the Codex Alexandrinus. 136  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 25. Concerning the provenance of Ambr. I 101 sup., Alessandra Pollastri largely agrees with Ferrari, adding her helpful observation of parallels between Paschasius Radbertus (abbot of Corbie, d. 865) and the Muratorian Codex’s exegetical


Chapter Three: Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.

D. Actual Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup. This volume contains sixteen distinct texts. The longest remaining text is John Chrysostom’s Ep. Theod. I (fols. 31v–71v). Originally, however, Eucherius’s Formulae may have occupied as much or more space than Chrysostom’s letter (Table 6). Table 6. Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup. “Muratorian Codex” Text


1. Computus [lacuna of 1 quire] 2. Eucherius, Formulae [lacuna of 7 quires] 3. “Muratorian Fragment” 4. Ambrose, De Abraham 5. Eucherius, Instructiones 6. Anonymous Chiliast, In Matt. Frag. 7. Anon., De tribus mensuris 8. Anon., De Petro apostolo 9. Chrysostom, Ep. Theod. 1 10. Ambrose, De Abraham 11. Anon., Sermo de Abraham 12. Ambrose, Fides 13. Lucifer, Fides 14. Hilary, Symbolum Nicaenum 15. Athanasius, Fides 16. Ps.-Ambrose, Expositio fidei catholicae

[now 77r] 1r–9v 10r–11r 11r–12r 12r–19r 19r–29v 29v–30r 30v–31v 31v–71v 71v–72r 72r–73v 73v, 75r 75r 75r–v 75v 74r–v

In conversation with Ritter’s prior description, Ferrari provides the following detailed list of the contents of the Muratorian Codex:137 1. fol. 77r + mirror traces in S. P. II 90 ter r, ‘Note di computo,’ inc. “| | … et circulus solaris …”, expl. “… quantas epactas abeat” (added in an eighthcentury cursive hand);138 2. (lacuna, probably of one quire);

fragments on Matthew: “Per quanto concerne la provenienza del codice mi pare più convincente l’ipotesi irlandese, norditalica e nordeuropea, rispetto a quella vivariense, non solo per le ragioni paleografiche segnalate ma anche per le piccolo ‘tracce’ lasciate da alcuni testi di questo codice nel Nord-Italia e Nord-Europa: a Petovio Vittorino e ad Aquileia Cromazio mostrano di conoscere il Frammento Muratoriano – o communque le tradizione in esso attestate – e successivamente nel monastero di Corbie, fondato das monci irlandesi, Pascasio manifesterà, come si è visto, alcune analogie con i frammenti su Matteo” (Frammenti esegetici su Matteo. Il Vangelo di Matteo (Mt 24,20–42). Le tre misure (Mt 13,33). L’apostolo Pietro (Mt 26,51–53–72–75), Biblioteca patristica 50 [Bologna: EDB, 2014], 403–6, here: 406). 137  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 26–32. 138  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 25.

D. Actual Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.


3. fols. 1r–9v, ‘Eucherii Lugdunensis Formulae spiritalis intellegentiae, incomplete at the beginning and end’139 fols. 1r–4v, “| | descendit super montem Sion, item in aliam partem profetam … vel in scripturis intellectus in psalmo et volabo et requiescam.”140 III. Exp(licit) de t(errenis)141; fols. 4v–8v, Inc.(i)p(it) de an(imanti)b(u)s, “Alae duo testamenta in Eczehiel unum quoque duabus alis velabat corpus suum … vel christiana anima in canticis canticorum soror mea sponsa mea.” Exp(licit) de anim(an)ti(bu)s;142 fols. 8v–9v, Inc(i)p(it) de nomini(bus), “Vir et uxor Christus et eclesia intellec­ tus spiritalis et storia scripturarum … vae vobis divitibus in evangelio | |”;143 4. (lacuna of perhaps seven quires);144  CPL 488.  Restored version of the first half of the line from Eucherius, De Terrenis: “[In psalmo (132:3)]: qui descendit super montes Sion; item in aliam partem propheta [Jer 13:16]: Ne quando offendant pedes uestri ad montes caligosos, id est hereticos” (“which falls on the mountains of Zion [i. e., dew], also in another part, in the prophets …” (ed. Mandolfo, 14; ed. Wotke, 13–14; “Give glory to the Lord your God, before he brings darkness,] and before your feet stumble on the mountains at twilight; while you look for light, he turns it into gloom and makes it deep darkness” [Jer 13:16]). Restored version of the second half of the line from Eucherius, De Animantibus 2: “Volatus, sanctorum excessus in Deo, vel in Scripturis intellectus. In psalmo LIII [i. e., 55:6]: Et volabo, et requiescam” (“Flown: departure of the sanctified to God; or in Scripture can be understood: in Ps 53, ‘I would fly away and be at rest’”; cf. Melito, De Avibus 10) E. S. Buchanan notes that Wotke “strangely” neglects Ambr. I 101 sup. in his edition of Eucherius (“Codex Muratorianus,” 539 n. 2). 141  Eucherius, Form. 3 (ed. Mandolfo, 25; ed. Wotke, 22). The text of Eucherius IIII. De animantibus begins at the top of fol. 4v before the copyist indicates (“EXP DE T”) the end of III. De terrenis. Ferrari notes (“Il Codex Muratorianus,” 26 n. 89): “Espando di norma le abbreviazioni senza avvertire: le segnalo invece, come qui racchiundendo lo scioglimento entro parentesi, quando sono insolite o ambigue. Tengo presente l’ottima trascrizione di incipit e explicit data da Reifferscheid, cui aggiungo dettagli e dal quale divergo in pochissimi casi. Transcrivo, come gia Reifferscheid…anche i lunghi titoli correnti, originali, che sovrastano quasi ogni pagina …” (“I usually expand the abbreviations without drawing attention: I signal them instead, as here by enclosing the conclusion within brackets, when they are unusual or ambiguous. I bear in mind the excellent transcription of the incipit and explicit given by Reifferscheid, to which I add details and from which I diverge in very few cases. I transcribe, as already Reifferscheid … also the original long running titles, which appear as headings on almost every page”). On p. 26 in n. 92, she writes: “Non vi sono titoli correnti. La mancanza di titoli correnti sul Canone e sul le Fides finali, se anche in simile dettaglio il piú tardo copista è stato fedele all’antigrafo, rispecchia forse disagio, da parte del compilatore, a classificare convenientemente questi testi, formalmente un po’ anomali dentro ala silloge che andava costruendo” (“There are no running titles. The absence of running titles on the [pages recording] the canon and the final Fides, even if in similar details the later copyist was faithful to his source, perhaps reflects the compiler’s discomfort to conveniently classify these texts, formally somewhat anomalous, within the anthology which he was constructing”). 142  Form. 4–5 (ed. Mandolfo, 25–37; ed. Wotke, 22.7–31.14; chapter divisions in the manuscript are not identical to this edition). 143  Form. 5 (ed. Mandolfo, 37–40; ed. Wotke, 31.15–33.19). 144 Location of the missing section of Eucherius is a desideratum of research on this codex – albeit an optimistic one. Fragments like this do not surface too often anymore, especially given 139 140


Chapter Three: Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.

5. fols. 10r–11r, ‘Canon Muratorianus’ (CPG 1862, only from this codex): “| | quibus tamen interfuit et ita posuit tertio evangelii librum … cum basilide assianum (corr. in assianom) catafrycum contitutorem (corr. in constitu­to­ rem)”;145 6. fols. 11r–12r, ‘Ambrose, De Abraham, 1,3.15–16, repeated twice’146: fol. 11r–v, “Abrham nomeravit servolus suos vernaculus et cum trecentis dece et octo … sacerdos patris qui sui corporis sacrificio patrem nostris repropiciavit dilectis (add. in marg. m.s. IX + hic dimite)”;147 fols. 11v–12r, “Nomeravit Abraham (corr. ex Abraam) servolos suos vernaculos et cum CCCXVIII … sacerdus patris qui sui (corr. ex suis) corporis sacrificat patrem nostris repropitiavit dilectis” (= fol. 11r–v, except variants);148 7. fols. 12r–19r, ‘Eucherii Lugdunensis Instructiones, lib. 1, omitting the first three chapters and the final farewell formula’:149 fols. 12r–13v, “Incipit de expositionem diversarum rerum. In primis mandragora. In genesi genus pumi simillimum parvo peponis speciem vel odore. Mazoroth. In Iob zaaic que duocim … appellaverit et ut nunc vocentur”;150 fols. 13v–14v, “De gentibus. Gomor in Genesi gallate … de Sem potestatem (corr. in poteritatem) procedunt”;151 fols. 14v–15r “De locis. Iebus ipsa est Hierusalem … que Marte nomen accipit”;152 fol. 15r–v, “De fluminibus et aquis. Geon fluvius Aethyopiae … condam sacerdotes lababant”;153 fol. 15v, “De mensibus. Nisan in libro Hester … septimus Maresuan octavus”;154 fols. 15v–16r, “De solepnitatibus. Annus iubileus annus … omnibus absolutisque requieveri”;155 that there is a recent critical edition. Yet a fragment may still remain at one of the great libraries in Italy, such as Rome, Milan, Turin, Monte Cassino, etc. 145  PL 1:33; see also H. Leclerq, “Muratorianum,” DACL 12.1:543–60, with a reproduction appearing between pages 552 and 553; diplomatic transcription, observations concerning the orthography and critical reconstruction of the text in Reifferscheid, “Die Ambrosianische Bibliothek in Mailand,” 32–33. Cf. Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 536; Buchanan, “Codex Muratorianus,” 540–42; Ritter, “Il Frammento,” 245–54. 146  Excerpts from CPL 127. 147  C. Schenkl, ed., Sancti Ambrosii Opera Pars I, CSEL 32/1 (Vienna: Tempsky, 1896), 512.16– 514.6. 148  Used for the edition of De Abraham by Ballerini, Sancti Ambrosii mediolanensis episcopi, 1:363, 372–73. Discussion of the excerpts with a collation in Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 536–40. 149  CPL 489. 150 Instr. 2.3 (ed. Mandolfo, 194; ed. Wotke, 146.17–149.23). 151 Instr. 2.4 (ed. Mandolfo, 199–201; ed. Wotke, 150–51). 152 Instr. 2.5 (ed. Mandolfo, 201–2; ed. Wotke, 151–52). 153  Instr. 2.6 (ed. Mandolfo, 203; ed. Wotke, 152–53). 154  Instr. 2.7 (ed. Mandolfo, 203–4; ed. Wotke, 153). 155  Instr. 2.8 (ed. Mandolfo, 204–6; ed. Wotke, 153–55).

D. Actual Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.


fol. 16r–v, “De idolis. Idola simolagra grecum … intellegendos esse puta­ verunt”;156 fols. 16v–17r, “De vestibus. Efoth veste sacerdotalis … apud feminas crurum ornamenta”;157 fol. 17r–v, “De avibus vel volatilibus. Pellicanus avis parva … est aculeis permolestum”;158 fol. 17v, “De besteis vel serpentibus. Rinocerun (corr. in rinoceron) fera terrebilis … vulgo doluam vocant”;159 fols. 17v–18r, “De ponderibus. Talentum est pondo … XX obelus habet”;160 fol. 18r, “De mensuris. Chorus est modii … cutulae sunt gomor”;161 fols. 18r–19r, (below, without heading:) “Accipe nunc et eorum nominum significationes quas aeclesiae | (fol. 18v) ore celebrata in sermone nostro vertuntur rex graecum. De grecis numinibus. Theos d(eu)s theos … anagoge superior sensus tropologia moralis intellegentiae parabules similitudo. Finit.”162 8. fols. 19r 2a col. – 29v, ‘Anonymi Chiliastae in Matthaeum fragmenta’:163 fols. 19r–20v, “Incipit de Matheo evange(lista), Orate autem ne fiat fuca vestra hieme vel sabbato. Idest ne cum fuca fit … non esse putetur et licet ab invitis qui vincuntur tormentis adoretur”;164 fols. 20v–28r, ‘De adventu domini Christi,’ “Sed salbator ad munimenta servorum suorum (et, add. in interl.) omnia haec futura ad seducendum praedixit et monuit … (fol. 25r) … non erit finis et in Apocalypsi factum est regnum orbis terrarum domini nostri et Christi eius et regnavit in secula seculorum.  – Quomodo ergo mille annos cupiditate (corr. in cupiditatem) edendi habebunt quibus regnavit salvator cum constet … (fol. 28r) … quia iam cognitum erit de deo deum esse Christum ut sub uno numine regnet pater et fìlius in saecul(a) saeculo(rum). E(x)pl(icit) de adventum domini Christi”107 fols. 28r–29v, ‘De die et hora,’ “Quoniam ergo adventum suum dominus ad ultionem iustorum et interitum iniquorum … scimus semper solleciti et parati essem (corr. in esse) debemus. Amen. E(x)pl(icit) de diae et hora.”165  Instr. 2.9 (ed. Mandolfo, 206–7; ed. Wotke, 155–56).  Instr. 2.10 (ed. Mandolfo, 207–9; ed. Wotke, 156–57). 158  Instr. 2.11 (ed. Mandolfo, 209–10; ed. Wotke, 157). 159  Instr. 2.12 (ed. Mandolfo, 210–11; ed. Wotke, 157–58). 160  Instr. 2.13 (ed. Mandolfo, 211–12; ed. Wotke, 158). 161  Instr. 2.14 (ed. Mandolfo, 212–13; ed. Wotke, 159). 162 Instr. 2.15 (ed. Mandolfo, 213–16; ed. Wotke, 159–61). With some lines out of order and omissions in the final lines. Some words in the lower margin on fol. 19r, are unexpectedly copied in two columns. 163 CPL 186. This codex contains the only witness. 164  PL 1:655–657; Mercati, Varia, 23–26, with a list and discussion of the orthographic peculiarities of fols. 19r–31v; Turner, “Exegetical Fragment of the Third Century,” 227–29. 165  PL 1:665–668; Mercati, Varia, 41–45; Turner, “Exegetical Fragment of the Third Century,” 238–41. 156 157


Chapter Three: Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.

9. fols. 29v–30r, ‘Anonymi De tribus mensuris’:166 “Incipit de tribus mensurus. Mulieri accipienti fermentum et abscondit illud in farina mensurus tribus … traditio salutaris panem tribuit salutare.”167 10. fols. 30v–31v, ‘Anonymi De Petro apostolo’ (CPL 188 from this codex only): “Interea conprehensus salbatore (corr. ex Petrus gladium quem habere iussus fuerat … admiratio enim illos perturbabat, conprehensum et ligatum, sequitur in fidem codices. Exp(licit) de Petro apostolo.”168 11. fols. 31v–71v, ‘Iohannis Chrysostomi De reparatione lapsi, Latin version perhaps attributed to Aniano Celedense’:169 “Incipit de reparationem lapsi. Quis dabit capiti meo aquam et oculis meis fontem lacrimarum. Oportunius multo … tamquam certus sim, quod si haec libenter legas alia ultra medicamenta non quaeris. E(x)pl(icit) de reparatione lapsi.”170 12. fols. 71v–72r ‘Ambrosii De Abraham, 1, 5.32–34’:171 “Ante hostium sedebat Abraam (corr. in Abraham) sedebat meridiae quando aves requiescebant. Iste ospitum explurabat … salbator dicit facite vobis amicus de iniquo mamuna qui vos recipiant in aeterna tabernacula sua.”172 13. fols. 72r–73v, ‘Anonymi Sermo de Abraham’:173 “Eidem de Abraham. Sollicitus auditur omnium fidelium princepem cerne … in veritate et perficeret, ipsi gloria et imperium in saecula saeculorum. Amen.” 14. fols. 73v, 75r, ‘Fides “Ambrosii”’:174 fol. 73v, “Incipit fides sancti Ambrosi episcopi. Nos patrem et filium et spiritu sanctum confitemur ita ut in trinitate … tres itaque formae sed una substantia | (f. 75r) ergo diversitas plures facit … chatolicus dici non potest quia chatolicam non tenet fidem alienus est adversus veritatem rebellis. Expl(icit).”175  CPL 187. This codex contains the only witness. 1:668; Mercati, Varia, 46. 168 PL 1:669–670; Mercati, Varia, 47–49. 169 CPG 4305. 170 Jean Dumortier, ed., A Théodore, by Jean Chrysostome, SC 117 (Paris: Cerf, 1966), 257– 322. 171  Excerpts from CPL 127. 172  Ed. Schenkl, 527.6–528.13; reported and collated by Ballerini, Sancti Ambrosii mediolanensis episcopi, 1:363, 381–82. 173 Cf. Amelli, “Nuove testimonianze,” 493. Ferrari edits this anonymous sermon at the end of her article: “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 40–51. See Appendix F. 174 CPL 789. 175 Quesnelliana, PL 56:582. Pasquier Quesnel published this collection in his compilation of Leo’s works, and thus it became known as the Collectio Quesnelliana. A printed edition is located in PL 56:358–747. See further Amelli, Nuove testimonianze, 491, 495; Ballerini, Sancti Ambrosii mediolanensis episcopi, 5:229–30, 239–40; Caspari, Kirchenhistorische, 1:308, A.5; August Hahn, Bibliothek der Symbole und Glaubensregeln der alten Kirche (Breslau: E. Morgenstern, 166

167 PL

D. Actual Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.


15. fol. 75r, ‘Fides Luciferi Caralitani (= Faustini)’:176 “Incipit fidei sancti Luciferi (Lucuferi?) episcopi. Nos patrem credimus qui non sit filius sed habeat filium de se sine inicio non ad se factum, et filium … sed est ipse eiusdem substantiae cum patre et filio sicuti eiusdem deitatis. E(x)pl(icit).”177 16. fol. 75r–v, ‘Symbolum Nicaenum, version attributed to Hilario Pictaviensi’:178 “Incipit fides quae ex Niceno consilio processit. Credimus unum deum patrem omnipotetem omnium visibilium et invisibilium factorem … convertibilem filium Dei hos anathema catholica et apostolica aeclisia. E(x)pl(icit).”179 17. fol. 75v, ‘Fides ps. Athanasii, ps. Vigilii Thapsensis, ps. Eusebii, mutila alla fine’ (“among the spurious works of Pseudo-Eusebius of Vercelli,” actually by a Luciferian from Spain):180 “Incipit fides beati Athanasi. Fidis unius substantiae trinitatis patri et fili et spiritus sancti sine inicio tempurum … virtus de virtute lux de lumine veritas de veritate, testis non est non caelum non terra | |.”181 18. fol. 74r–v, ‘Expositio fidei catholicae, incomplete at the end’:182 18973), 278 n. 203; Karl Künstle, Eine Bibliothek der Symbole und theologischer Tractate zur Bekämpfung des Priscillianismus und westgothischen Arianismus aus dem VI. Jahrhundert: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der theologischen Litteratur in Spanien, Forschungen zur christlichen Literatur- und Dogmengeschichte (Mainz: Franz Kirchheim, 1900), 10, 42–43 n. 8; idem, Antipriscilliana (Freiburg: Herder, 1905), 58–60; Buchanan, “Codex Muratorianus,” 542, transcribed the final words as “… veritatem rebellis christianam.” The last word, perhaps in the margin, was not visible to Ferrari. 176  CPL 118. 177  PL 13:1049, from this codex; Quesnelliana, PL 56:582; Künstle, Antipriscilliana, 62– 63; Buchanan, “Codex Muratorianus,” 542–43; Agostino Saba, “Fides sancti Luciferi episcopi in un codice antichissimo della Biblioteca Ambrosiana,” in Studi dedicati alla memoria di P. Ubaldi (Milan: Vita e pensiero, 1937), 109–16, here: 113, with facsimilies of fols. 75r and 75v; M. Simonetti and C. Moreschini, eds., Opera II: Ad Donatum. De mortalitate. Ad Demetrianum. De opere et eleemosynis. De zelo et livore. De dominica oratione. De bono patientiae, by Cyprian of Carthage, CCSL 3A (Turnhout: Brepols, 1976), 69, 357; G. F. Diercks, ed., Epistularium. Epistulae 1–57, by Cyprian of Carthage, CCSL 3B (Turnhout: Brepols, 1994), 8, 325–27. 178  Among the works of Hilary, see CPL 452. 179 PL 10:654; Buchanan, “Codex Muratorianus,” 543; A. Feder, ed., Tractatus mysteriorum, Collectanea Antiariana Parisina (Fragmenta Historica), Oratio Synodi Sardicensis ad Constantium Imperatorem, Libri tres adversum Valentem et Ursacium, Liber ad Constantium Imperatorem, Hymni, Fragmenta minora, Spuria, by Hilary of Poitiers, CSEL 65 (Vienna: Temp­ sky, 1916), 150. 180 CPL 105. 181  PL 62:285–86; Buchanan, “Codex Muratorianus,” 543–44; V. Bulhart, et al., eds., Opera quae supersunt; Diversorum hereseon liber; Adversus haereses; Opera quae supersunt; De reconciliandis paenitentibus; Commentarii in evangelia; Opera quae supersunt, by Archidiaconus Romanus, Fortunatianus Aquileiensis, Chromatius Aquileiensis, et al., CCSL 9 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1957), 115–16. 182  This codex contains the only witness. According to Friedrich Stegmüller, “composed in Africa in the 5th–6th century” (Repertorium Biblicum Medii Aevi [Matriti: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, 1950–1980], 6:401 [no. 9810], citing Caspari).


Chapter Three: Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.

“Item expositio fidei catholice. Credimus (corr. ex cremus) unum deum secundum secondum scripturas esse credendum non sicut iudei aut heretici solitarium … quem paraclitum appellamus qui super apostolus | |.”183

Discussion of the Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup. The codex contains sixteen writings, five of which are uniquely witnessed in this manuscript (indicated by an asterisk). Table 7 (below) offers an overview of the contents highlighting the different copyists (Ferrari’s view) and links.184 Table 7. Contents of the Muratorian Codex Text




1. Computus [1 quire lacuna] 2. Eucherius, Formulae185 [7 quire lacuna] 3. “Muratorian Fragment”*










183 Kirchenhistorische Anecdota, 1:304–308; Hahn, Bibliothek, 331–33; Künstle, Antipriscilliana, 89–91; PL 1:670–72; Expositio fidei catholicae (ed. Bulhart et al., 347–48). 184  ‘Link’ in Table 7 refers to a codicological connection between consecutive writings. For example, the link between the Ambrose’s Abraham and Eucherius’s Instructiones is certain because the same scribe (scribe “A”) copied both texts and they are parts of a single quire. The texts that cannot be shown definitely to have formed part of the original codicological undertaking are the computus, Eucherius’s Formulae, the Muratorian Fragment, and the statement of faith of Ambrose. 185 PL 1:657–665; Mercati, Varia, 27–40, like the preceding text; Turner, “Exegetical Fragment of the Third Century,” 229–38. The sections of Eucherius’s Formulae spiritualis intelligentiae represented in this fascicle are: Chapter 4 (De animantibus) and Chapter 5 (De variis nominum appellationibus). The preface, including Eucherius’s dedication to his son, Veranus, and chapters 1–3 (chapter 1. De his, quae appellantur membra domini vel quae de eo significantur; chapter 2. De supernis creaturis; chapter 3. De terrenis) are absent, perhaps indicating missing fascicles prior to fascicle one. After Chapter V (De variis nominum appellationibus), chapters 6–10 (i. e., chapter 6. De interiore homine; 7. De his, quae in usu atque in medio habentur; 8. De variis verborum vel nominum significationibus; 9. De Hierusalem vel adversis eius; and, 10. De numeris) are absent, indicating a possible second lacuna. After the canon fragment and the repeated excerpt from Ambrose, the fifth fascicle resumes Eucherius’s Instructiones, suggesting that, if there was a second lacuna, it included Formulae chapters 6–10 and the beginning of Instructiones. The sections of Eucherius’s Instructiones (De expositione diuersarum rerum) represented in this codex are: De gentibus, De locis, De fluminibus et aquis, De mensibus, De solepnitatibus, De idolis, De uestibus, De duplicibus uestimentis, De auibus uel uolatilibus, De besteis uel serpentibus, De ponderibus, De mensuris, De grecis nominibus. That the line begins with the fifth sentence from De terrenis (a warning against heretics) may not reflect random chance: “The mountains are the church of the Lord and of the apostles, or of the saints, a strength from on high; in the psalm: which descends from Mt. Zion. The same in another part from the prophet: May your feet not stumble greatly on the misty mountains, that is, heretics [Ps 132(133):3; Jer 13:16].”


D. Actual Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup. Text 4. Ambrose, De Abraham 5. Eucherius, Instructiones 6. Anon. Chil., in Matt. Frag.* 7. Anon., De tribus mensuris* 8. Anon., De Petro apostolo* 9. Chrysostom, Ep. Theod. 1 10. Ambrose, De Abraham 11. Anon., Sermo de Abraham 12. Ambrose, Statement of Faith 13. F. Lucifer, Statement of Faith 14. Hilary, Statement of Faith 15. Athanasius, Statement of Faith 16. Ps.-Ambrose, Statement of Faith* 186




A A A A A A/B [53] A A A A A A A

11r–12r 12r–19r 19r–29v 29v–30r 30v–31v 31v–71v 71v–72r 72r–73v 73v, 75r 75r 75r–v 75v 74r–v

certain certain certain certain certain certain certain certain uncertain certain certain certain certain

The complexity of dating the codex and correlating its individual components is outweighed only by the challenge of understanding why such unrelated texts were brought together in the first place. Ferrari views the codex as an anthology of biblical exegetical works encompassing themes such as the allegorical classification of God’s universe and sweeping ideals such as repentance and faith.187 She detects a possible Pelagian or semi-Pelagian (Pelagius, 390–418 ce) predilection.188 Due to the current mutilation of the manuscript, it is uncertain whether Eucherius’s Formulae originally appeared in full. If it did, Ferrari favors a comparison of Ambr. I 101 sup. with Codex Sessorianus 77, an eighth-century manuscript now at the National Library in Rome but copied at the Benedictine Abbey of Nonantola (province of Modena in the Emiglia-Romagna region of northern Italy, founded 752 ce) (CLA 4:423).189 In uncial script, Sess. 77 contains five letters (fols. 3v–6v) plus Eucherius’s Formulae and Instructiones in a 186  In this work in general, Ambrose warns against intermarriage with pagans, Jews, and heretics. 187  Alessandra Pollastri offers a helpful overview of Ferrari’s conclusions followed by her own insights (Frammenti esegetici su Matteo, 403–8). 188  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 47 (with respect to the Sermo). 189  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 32–33. Sess. 77 is an eighth-century parchment codex of 113 folios in uncial script. According to the Nonantola website: “It is decorated with numerous colored, simple, zoomorphic, kaleidoscopic initials, and presents a page decorated with a colored frame with phytomorphic motifs (c. 1v). It contains five letters (cc. 3v–6v), the Liber formularum spiritalis intelligentiae (cc. 8r–58v) and the Liber instructionum (cc. 58v–112v) of Eucherius” (accessed last June 23, 2019,,). These comparanda may be a desideratum of research. The Sessorianus gives evidence for the circulation of Eucherius in this redaction in northern Italy. It also contains an anti-Arian dogmatic corpus that is reproduced in the same order in the Fulda manuscript (see below with n. 192). The dogmatic corpus went north. Mandolfo confirms the link between the two manuscripts on a textual basis (Mandolfo, introduction to Formulae, xiv–xvi). Manuscripts from Nonantola share other similarities with the Muratorian Codex. Furthermore, Anselm’s canon (see next note) likely matched Athanasius’s (i. e., offering no new information concerning the Fragment’s canon list). Alternatively, Anselm was exiled for seven years to Monte Cassino in 756 ce, possibly connecting Sess. 77 and the Muratorian Codex.


Chapter Three: Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.

peculiar redaction lacking Instructiones 1 and featuring textual similarities to the Muratorian Codex.190 Both manuscripts transmit the Formulae followed by the second book of the Instructiones. Mandolfo’s full collation of texts demonstrates definite similarities among witnesses and leads her to infer a common source.191 Bernhard Bischoff, in turn, links MS Sess. 77 to MS Fulda, Hessische Landesbibliothek, Bonifat. 2 – an eighth-century codex in Luxeuil script – observing that it contains a “corpus dogmaticum (which was probably assembled for use against the Arian heresy).”192 As noted above, the length of the two lacunae at the beginning of Ambr. I 101 sup. suggest that, like Sess. 77, the Muratorian Codex contained the two works by Eucherius.193 In the Sessorian codex, the Formulae 190 CLA 4:423–24. Eighth century, northern Italy: see V. Jemolo, L. Merolla, M. Palma, F. Traselli, Bibliografia dei manoscritti Sessoriani, Sussidi eruditi, 41 (Rome: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1987), 73–74. On the proximity of Ambr. I 101 sup. to Sess. 77, see Amelli, “Nuove Testimonianze,” 493. Amelli first judged the author to be Ambrose but later concluded that the work came from a Spanish interpolater: “Si trattava di un Documento da me allora guidicato di S. Ambrogio, ma nel quale più tardi un ulteriore esame mi fece intravedere l’opera di un interpolatore di origine spagnuola. Chissà che lo stesso non abbia a verificarsi nel sullodato Dottore di Monaco?” (“It was a document that I had then judged to be by Saint Ambrose, but which, further examination made me see that it was the work of an interpolator of Spanish origin. Who knows, the same thing might have to be verified for the aforementioned doctor of Munich [i. e., Joseph Denk]?” (“Contributo alla Storia del Comma Giovanneo,” La Scuola Cattolica 4 (1906), 329–35, here: 335). Cf. Ignazio Giorgi, “L’antica biblioteca di Nonantola,” Rivista delle Biblioteche e degli Archivi 6 (1893): 54–60, here: 54–55. A note inside Sess. 77 states that it was once owned by Anselm, abbot at Nonantola (d. 803). Giorgi speculates that when Anselm owned it, it contained the two famous tractates of Eucherius, plus the letters of Eucherius, Salvian (who met both Hilary of Arles [401–449 ce] and Eucherius at Lerins and was the tutor of Eucherius’s sons Salonius and Veranius for whom the Formulae and Instructiones were composed), Hilary, and Rusticus. On Sess. 77, see Bischoff, Manuscripts and Libraries, 54. This important codex was a key witness to Eucherius for Wotke, who thought it was written earlier than it was. 191  See the manuscript descriptions at Mandolfo, introduction to Formulae, xiv, the textual comparisons at xxxiv–xxxv and the stemma codicum at xliv. 192  CLA 8:1197; Bischoff, Manuscripts and Libraries, 16. According to Bischoff, the book now at Fulda “still shows the wounds inflicted on it when Boniface used it to protect himself against his murderers.” Bischoff mentions this link in the context of a discussion of the probable influence of Bobbio on Luxeuil. He mentions other items that were probably sent there. The two abbeys had the same founder. Concerning the origin and provenance of Sess. 77, see CLA 4:423–24: “Written at Luxeuil or in a centre under its immediate influence. Ragyndrudis, at whose order apparently it was written, is probably to be identified with ‘Raegenthryth filia Athuolfi’ mentioned in a letter of Archbishop Lull of Mainz (753–86) as a rich patroness of churches, but it is doubtful whether Athuolf should be regarded as the Aodulf named as possessor of our manuscript (cf. fol. 2v). According to tradition, this is the book with which Boniface tried to save himself when he was murdered; at least it shows two violent incisions in the upper and lower margins.” 193 Hahneman sums up the contents as follows: “The Codex contains seventy-six leaves of rather course vellum, measuring 27 by 17 cm. It consists of nine gatherings of eight, and four other leaves. Fos. 6 and 74 are detached, and fos. 75 and 76 are conjugate. The fact that the last page (fo. 76v) is blank suggests that this was the original ending of the Codex. This is confirmed by the contents of fo. 76r, consisting only of a notice of the sum paid to the copyist, in an ancient cursive handwriting which is not that of the scribe himself. On the top of fo. 11r the scribe wrote

D. Actual Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.


occupies fifty-one folios (8r–58v), the Instructiones, fifty-five (58v–112v).194 Since, in the Muratorian Codex, the second extant quire is marked with the letter “K,” the letter ‘I,’ and at the foot of fo. 17v he affixed the letter ‘K.’ Thereafter he signed every eighth leaf on its conclusion with the next consecutive letter, except that he appears to have forgotten to insert the letter ‘O’ at the foot of fo. 49v. The final signature of ‘R’ is found on fo. 73v. The introduction of these letters would appear to be a means of pagination for the Codex: the scribe intended to sign the first leaf of each gathering. If so, he did not begin until the eleventh leaf; his beginning with the letter ‘I’ suggests that the Codex Muratorianus either was copied from a mutilated exemplar or else lost some of its pages. If the scribe of the Codex or its exemplar had begun (sic) on the first page with the letter ‘A,’ as many as fifty-six leaves may be missing. Since the eight-leaf cycle is not introduced until the eleventh leaf, there may have been at least two breaks in the first part of the Codex. The inscription on the first page is in a different hand from the rest of the Codex. It is also inserted into the top margin over a titular superscription. This suggests that one break could have been at the very beginning of the Codex or its exemplar. According to E. S. Buchanan, the writing of the inscription is at least as old as the eighth century, perhaps even the seventh. Therefore, if the inscription was added after the present Codex lost some initial folios, then those pages must have been lost within a century or so after the Codex was transcribed. The number of lines on the first eighteen pages of the Codex is 24 or 25. Beginning with the page on which the Fragment commences (fo. 10r) the number of lines of the next sixteen pages (fos. 10r–17v) is 31 or 32. The Fragment begins at the top of fo. 10r in the midst of a sentence. The previous page in the Codex ends abruptly in the middle of a quotation from Eucherius. There is no significant vacant space either at the bottom of fo. 9v or the top of fo. 10r. Thus, some pages may be missing here in the Codex, as well as the beginning” (Muratorian Fragment, 17–18). 194  G. Koffmane also sees connections between the Muratorian Codex and Sessorianus 77. See Koffmane, “Das wahre Alter und die Herkunft des sog. Muratorischen Kanons,” Neue Jahrbücher für deutsche Theologie 2 (1893): 163–223. Ferrari is inclined to agree: “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 32–33. Achelis regards Koffmane’s position as based on a misunderstanding: “Mit unseren Mitteln ist also die Behauptung nächster Verwandtschaft oder gar die eines gemeinsamen Archetypus vom Ambr. J. 101 sup. und Sessorianus 77 unbeweisbar, sie ist sogar unwahrscheinlich. Ob überhaupt eine Verwandtschaft besteht, wird die Wiener Ausgabe des Eucherius lehren” (“Zum Muratorischen Fragment,” ZWT 37 [1894]: 223–32, here: 232; cf. 225–26). Albert Ehrhard summarizes Achelis’s objection: “H. Achelis hat Koffmanes Hypothese widerlegt, namentlich mit dem Hinweis darauf, dass Koffmane die Angaben von Montfaucon vollständig missverstanden habe, dass die Handschrift des Kanons und des cod Ambros. F 129 sup. der verschiedene Werke von Eucherius enthält, sich nicht zu einer Handschrift zusammenschliessen und hiermit alles hinfällig wird, was er über den Archetypus des Muratorischen Kanons ausgeführt hatte, dass überdies keine nächste Verwandtschaft zwischen der Handschrift des Kanons und dem Sessorianus 77 beweisbar sei” (Ehrhard, Die altchristliche Literatur und ihre Erforschung seit 1880, ed. A. Ehrhard and E. Müller, Strassburger theologische Studien 1.4–5, [Strassburg: Herder, 1894], 414). Mandolfo demonstrates a textual similarity between Ambr. I 101 sup. and Sess. 77. The two are more closely related to one another than to any other copy (introduction to Formulae, xiv–xvi). However, Mandolfo does not discuss whether Eucherius’s two works might reflect different stemmatic relationships. Wotke, on the other hand, advances a thesis about two authorial versions of the work, an older version represented by Sess. 77 and a later version (still by Eucherius) represented by the larger tradition. However, there do appear to be different forms of the text. The MF and repeated Ambrosian excerpt are tucked in between Eucherius, Form. and Instr. 2. If these two works have different stemmata, we can imagine a scenario in which the Form. was available and copied into Ambr. I 101 sup., space being left for Instr. 2 based on information about the length of the entire work. Chrysostom was then copied, after which Instr. 2 arrived. Its first two chapters were either absent or rejected.


Chapter Three: Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.

it may originally have been the tenth, approximately seven intervening quires accommodating the missing chapters of the Formulae.195 According to Ferrari’s and Ritter’s reconstructions, the current first quire (without a quire mark) would originally have been the second (an initial shorter lacuna preceding the current first quire) (see Table 2 above). In addition to the works of Eucherius damaged at the end, Sess. 77 incorporates assorted other texts, including an ancient index (at the beginning) and some Fides.196 Ferrari estimates that these two defective codices may have been conceived and organized according to a similarly narrow set of needs. Each of Eucherius’s two major works is formulated as a letter to a son.197 The Instructiones (441 ce), dedicated to his son Salonius, had unquestionable currency in the eighth century. Book 1, which is absent in both the Muratorian Codex and Sess. 77, consists of a series of questions concerning thirty-three books of the Bible.198 Book 2 is a brief biblical, ecclesiastical glossary with words grouped by topic. With various works of Augustine and other writers, it was incorporated into the Liber glossarum, an encyclopedic glossary composed sometime in the seventh or eighth century, consisting of 55,000 alphabetical entries covering many fields of study.199 Likewise, the Formulae, dedicated to Eucherius’s son Veranus, was popular for its easily searchable lists of terms and mystical explanation of the sacred numbers, a section that was reused by Cassiodorus.200 From northern Italy, Ambr. I 101 sup. and Sess. 77 are the only two remaining witnesses to both of Eucherius’s works from the eighth century. From Pages were left blank after Form., the scribe hoping to finish Instr. 2 very near the beginning of Chrysostom. Instr. 2 (minus chapters 1 and 2). Unfortunately, it ran shorter than calculations (fully ten folios). Eventually the blanks were filled in with ps.-Ambrose. Other scenarios could also explain it. 195 The second lacuna between fol. 9v (end of the current first fascicle) and fol. 10r (beginning of the current second fascicle) would have been comprised of seven fascicles (roughly 56 fols.). The text on fol. 9v looks faded or perhaps abraded, probably from being exposed for some time. A possible inference is that Eucherius’s Formulae was separated from the rest of the codex, which was for a time preserved without a cover (or perhaps with only a parchment cover like a “folder”). At this time the codex might have incurred the loss of the Fragment’s comments on Matthew and Mark. After the single quire (fols. 1r–9v) was recovered, the codex was rebound. 196  On the Fides, see T. Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament, trans. J. M. Trout, W. A. Mather et al., 2nd ed. (New York: Scribner, 1917), 3:372; Caspari, Kirchenhistorische Anec­ do­ta 1:304–8; Buchanan, “Codex Muratorianus,” 544–45. 197  See Discussion in Chapter 1 (above). 198 Gen, Exod, Lev, Num, Deut, Job, 1 Sam, 4 Kings, Mic, Isa, Ezek, 2 Chr, Pss, Prov, Eccl, Song/Cant, Matt, Mark, Luke, John, Rom, 1, 2 Cor, Eph, 1 Thess, Col, 1, 2 Tim, Heb, Acts, James, 1 John, and Rev. The NT books cited do not correspond to those mentioned in the Muratorian Fragment. 199 There is now an electronic edition of this work: Anne Grondeux and Franck Cinato, eds., Liber Glossarum Digital, 2016, 200  Cassiodorus, Inst. 2.4.8 (ed. Mynors, 141–2). See Cassiodorus Senator, An Introduction to Divine and Human Readings, trans. Leslie Webber Jones (New York: Norton, 1946), 188–89 (esp. n. 35).

D. Actual Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.


central Italy, one additional early witness to his works remains: Vat. lat. 3321, an eighth-century compilation of glossaries, including Instructiones Book 2.201 According to Ferrari, the Muratorian Fragment and the twice-copied Ambrosian excerpt (Ambrose, De Abraham 1.3.15–16) have a clear and rational utility within the codex: the canon gives a summary table of individual books of the Bible following Eucherius’s allegorical explanations of scriptural passages; the Ambrosian excerpt(s) follows the mystical explanations of Eucherius’s numbers because it addresses the symbolic value of the 318 servants chosen by the patriarch.202 However, it is also possible to regard the inclusion of the Muratorian Fragment and the Ambrosian excerpt(s) in this codex as aberrant. Three observations support this conclusion. (1) The Muratorian Fragment and the two Ambrosian excerpts occur on the two folios (four sides) in between the two long letter-treatises by Eucherius. Like fol. 77r which Ferrari supposes was originally blank but today contains a computus, these pages may originally have been left blank.203 While one would 201 Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorinus,” 27 n. 94; CLA 1:15. Regarding Vat. lat. 3321, Mandolfo has a brief note (introduction of Formulae, xxxix). She does not employ it for her edition of the text and does not indicate the family to which it might belong. It lacks the preface and epilogue of Instructiones Book 2 beginning at fol. 208r (see In the table of contents on fol. 208r, the work’s general title is absent and has been extracted from the first chapter, De nominibus ebreis, while the first chapter receives the title of the actual second chapter (De variis vocabulis). Other chapter titles and chapter numbers are similarly misaligned. Yet as the text unfolds, the chapter titles appear matched up with correct chapter numbers (e. g., fol. 211r: ii. De variis vocabulis). In light of the faulty enumeration, one can appreciate how the beginning chapters might accidentally drop out as an independent text. MS Paris, BNF, lat. 2769 is the oldest manuscript (middle of the sixth century) which preserves the works of Eucherius in the same sequence as Sess. 77 and Ambr. I 101 sup. (Form., Instr. II) (Mandolfo, introduction of Formulae, xii; CLA 5:50). It is an Italian manuscript that traveled north in the eighth century. The French and German manuscripts textually related to it preserve the sequence but contain Book 1 of the Instructiones following Book 2 (see Mandolfo, introduction of Formulae, xii–xiii). Sess. 77 also appends the first book of Instructiones at the end in a form characterized by many additions as well as omissions. 202  In the prologue to De Fide ad Gratianum, Ambrose interprets these servants (in line with the times) as the three hundred eighteen council members at Nicaea. This passage is a locus classicus for gematric symbolism (300 = tau, T, i. e., the cross, 18 = IH, the first two letters of Jesus’s name). Cf. Barn. 9.8–9. It also appears in Prudentius’s Psychomachia as a symbol of Christ. See Jean Rivière, “‘Trois cent dix-huit’: Un cas de symbolisme arithmétique chez saint Ambroise,” RTAM 6 (1934): 349–67. 203  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 17. Multitext codices often left blank pages at the end of a quire, codicological unit, or manuscript. Book owners hired scribes to fill in the blank pages, allowing them to make additions without rebinding. The work could be improvisatory in the face of parchment shortages. See Bart Besamusca, Matthias Meyer, Karen Pratt, Ad Putter, eds. The Dynamics of the Medieval Manuscript: Text Collections from a European Perspective (Göttingen: V&R Unipress, 2017), 18; Kathryn M. Rudy, Piety in Pieces: How Medieval Readers Customized their Manuscripts (Cambridge, UK: Openbook Publishers, 2016). See Rudy’s general overview at “The Editing of Illuminated Manuscripts by Medieval Scribes,” Brewminate: A Bold Blend of News and Ideas, published March 2, 2017, accessed April 22, 2020. https://brewminate. com/the-editing-of-illuminated-manuscripts-by-medieval-scribes/.


Chapter Three: Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.

expect the copyist to begin at the beginning of a quire with the new work, Eucherius’s Instructiones, it is worth noting that the beginning of Eucherius’s Instructiones (chapters 1 and 2) has been omitted.204 It is possible that the archetype also lacked these chapters and that the copyist, recognizing this, left space until a complete copy became available. When that never happened, someone filled in the pages with resources at hand, namely the Fragment and the (duplicated) Ambrosian excerpt. These pages also omit a running header (fols. 10r, 10v, 11r). Only three (fols. 2v, 5v, 7v) of the first eighteen pages of the codex are missing a header (none is consecutive) until fol. 10 when three consecutive headers are absent.205 If fols. 10r–12r were originally blank up to the bottom quarter of fol. 12r where Eucherius’s Institutiones begins, then one possibility is that after copying the Fragment, the scribe calculated that s/he still had the bottom quarter of fol. 11r and three-quarters of fol. 12r to fill.206 S/he began to copy the numerical passage from Ambrose’s De Abraham, but on completing the quarter at the bottom of fol. 11r realized that s/he had forgotten to calculate fol. 11v. Therefore, s/he filled fol. 11v up to the bottom quarter and then repeated the initial plan to leave no blanks (scribal horror vacui). The second copy was executed more hastily incurring more errors. Line breaks of the initial excerpt on fol. 11r do not match the repeated excerpt on fol. 11v (repeated text begins five lines from the bottom of fol. 11v – first few words in different order); but, commencing with fol. 12r, line breaks initially match the previous page, suggesting the scribe deliberately attempted to match line breaks where it might be detected. The second iteration of the incipit was not rubricated in order to disguise that the excerpt was repeated (fol. 11v).207 The missing headers on fols. 10r–v and 11r  It is curious that the first two chapters of book two of Instructiones (De nominibus hebraicis and De variis vocabulis) appear to have been omitted from the Muratorian Codex. They may also have been unavailable, but it is also possible that their content posed a problem. The two chapters are: De nominibus hebraicis and De variis vocabulis – both concerning the Hebrew language (the first, particularly rife with Hebrew words). At the end of the fourth and beginning of the fifth century, debates about the value of the scriptures in Hebrew were de rigeur. As Jerome grows in his conviction of the importance of knowing Hebrew, others such as Ambrosiaster resisted, preferring to trust Latin fathers such as Tertullian. The penchant on the part of the scribe or owner of Ambr. I 101 sup. or its archetype for Ambrosiaster (ps.-Ambrose) may suggest this negative position on the scriptures in Hebrew was shared. Eucherius would thus be valuable, apart from these chapters. The BPs (in a passage without parallels to the MF) express interest in Hebrew (see Chapter 5). By the eighth century, lexicons or lists of Hebrew words were being generated, usually on the basis of Jerome. Eucherius’s own list was probably subject to additions that eventually made their way into the Liber glossarum. 205  Fol. 11r also omits the header, but an “I” is discernible. Hahneman regards it as a quire signature (Muratorian Fragment, 17). 206  Intense ruling clear on fol. 10r–v in particular. Ruling is also present on blank flyleaves. 207  The ornate “A” on fol. 11r does not resemble the ornate “A” on fol. 4v. or the ornate “V” on fol. 8v, the only two prior ornate letters in the manuscript. Neither does it resemble ornate letters on fols. 63r, 71r–v. It does resemble the “A” on fol. 15v (part of Eucherius, Instructiones), the next ornate “A” in the codex. Contrast ornate letters on fols. 12r, 14v, 28r, and 30v. If a scribe 204

D. Actual Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.


signal the blanks. The header on fols. 11v and 12r were added to create a smooth segue with the header on fol. 12v and subsequent folios of the codex.208 Perhaps they were also intended to integrate the interpolated texts. It is noteworthy that these two headers (fols. 11v and 12r) feature decorative lines above and below, different from the headers on all prior pages in the codex but corresponding to headers on ensuing pages (see Appendix I). Following John Chrysostom’s long tractate, Ep. Theod. I (fols. 31v–71v), fols. 71v–​73v contain an excerpt and a short work. These two pages may also originally have been blank. On fol. 71v the scribe rubricates the ending of Chrysostom’s tractate (epl [explicit] de reparatione lapsi) as well as the beginning of Ambrose, De Abraham – the third excerpt from this piece in the codex. Just as this text seems to have been used to fill in fols. 10r–12r it appears to have been deployed again to fill these blank pages. Following the excerpt, the scribe includes the anonymous Sermo de Abraham, the work omitted by Chapman and treated at length by Ferrari. The pattern of the two works mirrors the prior lacuna: anonymous work (i. e., Muratorian Fragment) + Ambrose, De Abraham filling in fols. 10r–12v; and, Ambrose, De Abraham + anonymous work (i. e., Sermo de Abraham) filling fols. 71v–73v. Three of the four works used to fill in the blank pages are Ambrosian – the context possibly suggesting the “filler material” all came from a single codex that had mostly Ambrose (including pseudo-Ambrose) in it.209 The incipit of the first rule of faith begins after the Sermo at the bottom of fol. 73v. It too comes from Ambrose (“R” signature indicates that the quire ended on fol. 73v, but Ambrose’s rule of faith continues on fol. 75r after which the rules of Lucifer, Hilary, Athanasius and ps.-Ambrose fill fols. 75r–74v, where the pages are out of order). These works are followed by the receipt (fol. 76r), a blank page, and the computus (fol. 77r). Fol. 72r is the only page between fols. 66v and 75v (last page of text) on which a running header (indicating Ambrose, De Abraham) is present.210 filled in blank pages, he might have imitated the next ornate “A” for the incipit of the excerpt from Ambrose, Abr. 208 The running header on fol. 11v is “DEAB,” but on fol. 12r, “BRAA.” The latter title matches the spelling at the beginning of the second iteration of the excerpt (Abra ham, fol. 11v), but not the first (Abrham, fol. 11r). 209  See above for Ferrari’s argument concerning the proximity of Sermo de Abraham (fols. 72r–73v) and Ps.-Augustine’s Quaestiones Veteris et Novi Testamenti, which Souter attri­ butes to Ambrosiaster. Ambrosiaster’s NT canon does not match the Fragment (Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 196–97). However, the repeated excerpt from Ambrose, Abr. on fols. 71v–72r (ll. 21, 22, 23, 25) and the Sermo de Abraham (ll. 3.15; 4.7) reflect an interest in the proper conduct of a sacerdos, which role (and title) the speaker and likely the author of the Quaestiones uses of himself. See Hunter, “Significance of Ambrosiaster,” 16; idem, “Rivalry between Presbyters and Deacons in the Roman Church: Three Notes on Ambrosiaster, Jerome, and The Boasting of the Roman Deacons,” VC 71 (2017): 495–510; Theodore S. de Bruyn, Stephen A. Cooper, and David G. Hunter, eds., Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2017), xxviii. 210  See Appendix I.


Chapter Three: Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.

Folio 74 does not fit well into the codex. Not only is it out of order in the present configuration, but the text it transmits begins at the top of the page and is a full two-pages long as compared with the other four regulae which are only a paragraph each. The folio may have been added or some loose folios may have been inverted or mixed up. It has been suggested that Ambrosiaster is the author of the ps.-Ambrose text on fol. 74v.211 Athanasius’s statement is completed at the bottom of fol. 75v suggesting that, following (1) the excerpt from Ambrose, De Abraham (fols. 71v–72r), (2) the anonymous, Sermo de Abraham (fols. 72r–73v), and (3) the regula of Ambrose, the scribe added just three additional regulae to fill the remaining space. If that same scribe filled in fol. 74v, all additions are distinctly ‘Ambrosian.’ We add to this that Caspari and Zahn attribute to Ambrosiaster the three short works, in Matt. Frag., De tribus mensuris, and De Petro apostolo, filling fols. 19r–31v (after Eucherius’s Instructiones and before John Chrysostom’s Ep. Theod. I) and the regula fidei on fols. 74r–v.212 In sum, with the exception of the Rules of Faith by Lucifer, Hilary, and Athanasius (fols. 75r– v), all minor works in the codex possess an Ambrosian hue and give an impression of being insertions intended to fill blanks between the largest components of the volume. It seems thus that a codex containing the two works of Eucherius and Chrysostom’s Ep. Theod. I was supplemented (or copied and supplemented) by a book owner or scribe who not only admired the works of Ambrose but embraced the authenticity of certain works of Ambrosiaster.213 The canon begins in medias res which could either suggest that its beginning was lost as part of the seven-quire lacuna containing primarily Eucherius’s Formulae or that the copyist (or the exemplar) was uninterested in Matthew and Mark. (2) Returning to the position that the inclusion of the Muratorian Fragment and the Ambrosian excerpt(s) in this codex is aberrant, we note that although Eucherius’s two works and the Fragment share generic qualities (see Chaper 1 above), none of the three bears this relationship to the duplicated Ambrosian excerpt. These three texts, furthermore, differ in content and purpose. The Fragment is primarily interested in the authenticity of NT writings with a marked

211 The discussion involves two occurrences of the Comma Johanneum in the five Fides (see Chapter 2). See discussions in Zahn, Introduction to the New Testament, 3:372; Caspari, Kirchenhistorische Anecdota, 1:304–8; Buchanan, “Codex Muratorianus,” 544–45. Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 32; cf. Stegmüller, Repertorium Biblicum Medii Aevi, 6: no. 9810. 212 Alexander Souter, “Reasons for regarding Hilarius (Ambrosiaster) as the Author of the Mercati-Turner Anecdoton,” JTS 5 (1903–1904): 608–21; Coelestinus Martini, Ambrosiaster: De Auctore, Operibus, Theologia (Rome, 1944), 16–64; T. Zahn, “Ein alter Kommentar zu Matthäus,” NKZ 16 (1905): 419–27. 213  See discussion in Chapter 7 below. These works may have come from a single or multiple exemplars. The Sermo de Abraham and abbreviation hypothesis may suggest a single liturgical collection.

D. Actual Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.


interest in defending John, the evangelist.214 Eucherius offers allegorical explanations of both Jewish and Christian scriptures. Ambrose writes a theological treatise on Abraham as moral exemplar.215 That said, the three texts are not entirely unrelated. As noted, the Ambrosian excerpt concerns the number symbolism of 318. If it followed the complete text of the Formulae, as seems probable, then it might, as Ferrari argues, have been construed as a supplement to the final chapter of the Formulae on numbers.216 The Fragment too may be seen in this light, if it was designed along numerical principles, as discussed in the Commentary (Chapter 6) and conclusion (Chapter 7).217 (3) Finally, Sess. 77 offers no parallel to the canon list or the Ambrosian excerpts. Indeed, in their position embedded between the two major tractates of Eucherius, the Fragment and the repeated Ambrosian excerpt possess the quality of an interpolation. While it is possible that the presumed lacuna from the Formulae immediately preceding the Fragment contained the initial part of the Fragment perhaps even revealing its source-text, both the length of the presumed omission and the resumption of Eucherius in fol. 12v suggest it contained Eucherius’s text exclusively.218 Moreover, if the lacuna had contained the beginning of the Fragment, this would not explain why the Ambrosian fragment too begins in medias res immediately following the Fragment, nor why this excerpt is repeated. Miscellany codices often contain excerpts. The issue in the Muratorian Codex is the apparent coherence of the section that the Fragment and repeated Ambrosian segment interrupt. Following the Fragment and Ambrosian excerpts, Eucherius’s Instructiones 2 is missing its first 2 chapters (De nominibus hebraicis and De variis vocabulis). This work is then followed by three anonymous texts – all unique exemplars: (1) an excerpt from a commentary on Matthew 8–10,219 (2) De tribus mensuris, 214 Attempting to balance this position, Ferrari recalls the hypothesis, held by Étaix, Lemarié and Kaestli, that the Fragment was known to Chromatius of Aquileia (Tract. Mat., prol. 2) (“Il Codex Muratorianus,” 34). See Raymond Étaix and Joseph Lemarié, eds., Opera, by Chromatius of Aquileia, CCSL 9A (Turnhout: Brepols, 1974), 185. 215  Ambrose composed De Abraham between 375 and 387. It is included in his seven-book collection De patriarchis. 216  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 34. 217  Throughout the Middle Ages, Eucherius’s work, including the final chapter of the Formulae, was subject to local expansions and supplements. See Mandolfo, introduction of Formulae, v–xviii; Pauly, “Sancti Eucherii Lugdunensis,” 4–10. 218 Ferrari argues that a lacuna of seven fascicles prior to the Fragment would have accommodated Chapters 6–10 of Eucherius, Formulae. See discussion above. Question remains as to whether it would have also been able to accommodate the beginning of a tractate the Fragment might represent. At a minimum, this tractate should have included comments on the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. 219  Ferrari expresses question as to why they are disorderly, noting that they are already out of order in Eucherius, Instructiones, Book 1 (on Matt, Mark, Luke, and John, then again Mark, [Matt], Luke). “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 34. Ps.-Chrysostom, Opus Imperfectum, an Arian com-


Chapter Three: Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.

and (3) De Petro apostolo.220 On fol. 31v, following the words “conprehensum et ligatum” (“united and bound”), a reference note reads: “sequitur in fidē (i. e., fine) codices” (“it follows at the end of the codex”).221 If this comment implies that the rest of the tractate follows at the end of the codex, the copyist transcribed the line without understanding what it meant or intended to do something that s/he never did.222 Modern scholars date the Matthean commentary, De tribus mensuris as well as De Petro apostolo to the third and fourth centuries, attributing them variously to Victorinus of Pettau, ‘Ambrosiaster,’ and others, al­though none later than Pope Damasus I (366–384 ce).223 Based on these hypotheses, the provenance of these texts ranges from Gaul to Rome. John Chrysostom’s letter to Theodore of Mopsuestia (CPG 4305) follows next in the codex. In this work, the third of three letters preserved in the codex, John exhorts Theodore to remain faithful to his commitment to asceticism after he has fallen in love with a woman named Hermione. Composed in Greek, some scholars believe that this famous short work was translated into Latin by Anianus of Celeda (early fifth century?), possibly linking the letter to the anonymous, De Petro apostolo, which has been ascribed to the same Anianus. Chrysostom’s letter circulated in Latin already in the first decades of the fifth century. Following this longer section of the codex, which Ferrari characterizes as exhorting readers to repent,224 another excerpt from Ambrose (fols. 71v–72r) and a brief anonymous sermon (fols. 72r–73v) return readers to the topic of Abraham. The excerpt from Ambrose is the second citation in the codex from De Abraham.225 It exegetes Gen 18:1–2, the narrative about the three guests welcomed by the patriarch in Mamre226 – often interpreted as the first biblical mentary on Matthew, has certain similarities with the commentary on Matthew 8–10 and may correspond to its missing section (middle of thirteenth to end of the nineteenth chapter). 220  F. G. Nuvolone attributes De Petro apostolo to Anianus of Celeda (“Pélage et pélagianisme,” DSAM 12.2:2889–942, here: 2908–12). Contast Giovanni Mercati, “I. Anonymi Chiliastae in Matthaeum xxiv fragmenta, accedunt tractatus de tribus mensuris et de Petro Apostolo,” Varia sacra, Studi e testi 2 (Rome: Tipografia Vaticana, 1903), 1–49. On Anianus’s translation of Chrysostom into Latin, see Kate Cooper, “An(n)ianus of Celeda and the Latin Readers of John Chrysostom,” in Cappadocian Fathers, Greek Authors after Nicaea, Augustine, Donatism and Pelagianism, ed. Elizabeth A. Livingstone, Studia Patristica 27 (Leuven: Peeters, 1993), 249–55. See also Emilio Bonfiglio, “Anianus Celedensis Translator of John Chrysostom’s Homilies on Matthew: a Pelagian interpretation?” in Papers from the First and Second Postgraduate Forums in Byzantine Studies: Sailing to Byzantium, ed. S. Neocleous (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2009), 77–104. 221  Mercati, Varia, 49. Alternatively, this phrase could refer to a supplementary volume. 222  Mercati, Varia, 49. 223 “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 35. 224  This is undoubtedly true at some level. For this and the following remarks, see Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 35. 225 The first (fols. 11r–12r) comes from 1.3.15–16; the second, from 1.5.32–34. 226  Confusion exists over the precise location of Mamre (elonei Mamre, “oaks of Mamre”). It lies approximately halfway between Halhul and historical Hebron (four kilometers north of the latter), although in Genesis, Mamre is identified with Hebron. The original Hebrew tradition appears to refer to an ancient cultic shrine originally focused on a single holy tree. In Gen 13:18,

D. Actual Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.


revelation of the triune God. Ferrari perceptively regards it as a convenient platform on which to stage five Trinitarian fides. The sermon (see Appendix F) discusses Genesis 22 (the sacrifice of Isaac) and characterizes Abraham as a person of unwavering and faithful obedience to God. Ferrari judges the logic of the first and second halves of the codex as equally deliberate. In the case of the second half, she regards the overarching theme as faith: the first father of the faithful (Abraham) followed by five statements of faith. Following the two short texts about Abraham, five regulae fidei conclude the codex. Two of the five are fragmentary, and an additional one may have disappeared with the corruption of the final pages of the last quire.227 The first four are attributed to Ambrose, Lucifer, the Council of Nicaea (the version of Hilary of Poitiers), and Athanasius, respectively. The origin and date of the group have been debated. Surprisingly, these are the only texts in the codex for which authorial attribution is explicit. Neither Chrysostom (Ep. Theod. I), nor Ambrose (De Abraham), nor probably Eucherius (so far as the state of the codex gives us to understand), are mentioned in the sections dedicated to their works.228 It is almost as if the compiler deliberately suppressed names apart from the creeds.229 Perhaps the authors of the creeds (or the creeds themselves) lent authority to the other texts in the codex (e. g., Eucherius, Chysostom). The creeds may also have functioned as hermeneutical principles for interpreting the texts.230 According to Ferrari, the compiler had good reason to attribute the first creed to Ambrose since it was composed in large part with phrases that stem from the authentic Ambrosian treaty De fide ad Gratianum.231 Whoever redacted the text used both Ambrose and Priscillian and did not work long after the late fourth or early fifth century. The second creed, Fides Luciferi is attributed with reasonable certainty to Faustinus Luciferianus. It is addressed to Theodosius I (347–395 ce) and composed, therefore, sometime before 395 ce. The Fides ex Nicaeno Concilio was widely known in Latin in the fourth century, although it has a complex transmission history in later canonical collections. It is difficult to date the fourth Abraham settles by “the great trees of Mamre.” Khirbet es-Sibte is a site venerated by some as the “Oak of Abraham.” It is distinct from the more ancient site of Mamre. Gen 13:18 (Vulg.): movens igitur Abram tabernaculum suum venit et habitavit iuxta convallem Mambre quod est in Hebron aedificavitque ibi altare Domino. (LXX: Μαμβρη). 227  See Appendix I, especially “Table 2. Liquid Damage.” 228 In the fifteenth century, Cristoforo di Valsassina attributed the entire codex to John Chrysostom, but this attribution is partly spurious. It may have been accidental, based on Valsassina’s limited knowledge of the contents of the codex, or deliberate if, for example, Valsassina viewed John Chrysostom’s tractate as the most significant in the codex and/or wanted to pass Eucherius and other works off as those of Chrysostom to guarantee that they would be accessed and catalogued by readers drawn to the popular works of John Chrysostom. Eucherius’s works often lacked attribution; see Mandolfo, introduction of Formulae, v–xviii. 229  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 35–36, citing K. Halm, ed., Opera, by Sulpicius Severus, CSEL 1 (Vienna: C. Gerold’s Sohn, 1866), 110. 230  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 36. 231  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 36–37.


Chapter Three: Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.

creed, Fides beati Athanasii, published among the works of Eusebius Vercellensis and Vigilius of Thapsus (modern day Tunisia).232 According to Ferrari, a Spanish origin would, in a Luciferian environment, imply the end of the fourth or early fifth century.233 The much longer, and anonymous, fifth creed, Expositio fidei catholicae is not actually a creed. It appears to be the exegesis of a creed with explanations introduced by the author and prooftexts from Scripture. The date of this text is based on its citation of the Comma Johanneum (1 John 5:7–8) quoted in full with the variants also attested by Priscillian.234 Caspari, the first to undertake a thorough examination of this tractate, traced it to the fifth or sixth century. Based primarily on its attestation of the Comma, he regarded it as an African text. However, Caspari was only familiar with the Comma’s citation in African writers such as Vigilius of Thapsus (ca. 484 ce), Victor of Vita (ca. 485–488 ce), and Fulgentius of Ruspe (ca. 507–532 ce) (acknowledging variation among the three), unaware of its appearance in Priscillian. Ferrari supports proposals, such as those advanced by Karl Künstle and Germain Morin, dating this text in the second half of the fourth century.235 Such later studies contextualize the Expositio in the Priscillian environment and emphasize points of contact with the work of a certain Isaac, who perhaps traveled in Spain.236 In assessing the contents of the entire codex, John Chapman judged the copyist too ignorant to have built the collection of texts contained in this codex,  It is different from the Symbolum Athanasianum or Symbolum Quicumque (CPL 167).  See Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 37. 234 1 John 5:7–8: tres sunt qui (tria sunt que, Priscillian) dicunt testimonium (testimonium dicunt, Priscillian) in caelo, pater, verbum et spiritus, et haec tria unum sunt in Christo Iesu. Cf. Ambr. I 101 sup., fol. 74r; Priscillian, Tract. 1.4, in G. Schepps, ed., Quae supersunt, by Priscillian, CSEL 18 (Vienna: Tempsky, 1889), 6. Karl Künstle demonstrates that Expositio fidei (i. e., fol. 77r–v) shares some but not all in common with the Fides Isaacis. The Fides Isaacis does not witness the first section of the Expositio containing the Comma Johanneum, and according to Künstle would have done so, if the author had known it. Künstle explains the Expositio’s reliance on “Isaac” together with the Comma by arguing it was written once “Isaac” arrived in Spain: “Es scheint mir daher durchaus wahrscheinlich, daß man Isaak nach Spanien geschrieben hat, denn wir wissen aus Sulpicius Severus, daß die häeretische Bewegung, die man später Priscillianismus nannte, unmittelbar nach dem Tode des hl. Hilarius (366) einsetzte” (Antipriscilliana: Dogmengeschichtliche Untersuchungen und Texte aus dem Streite gegen Priscillians Irrlehre [Freiburg in Breisgau: Herder, 1905], 89–102, here: 101–2). See also Germain Morin, “L’Ambrosiaster et le Juif Converti Isaac, Contemporain du Pape Damase,” Revue d’histoire et de littérature religieuses 4 (1899): 97–121; G. Hahn, Bibliothek der Symbols und der Glaubensregeln der alten Kirche (Breslau: Morgenstern, 1897); and A. Souter, “Fides Isatis ex Iudaeo: A New Edition,” JTS 31 (1929): 1–8. 235 Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 38. 236 Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 38–39. At one point, G. Morin argued that Ambrosiaster was identical to a converted Jew named Isaac who flourished during the time of Pope Damasas (366–384 ce), but later abandoned this thesis (“L’Ambrosiaster et le juif converti Isaac, contemporain du pape Damase,” Revue d’histoire et de littérature religieuses 4 [1899]: 97–121, here: 101–7). Cf. Künstle, Antipriscilliana, 89–91. 232 233

D. Actual Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.


thus hypothesizing that it derived from an older manuscript compiled in a monastic setting primarily for the purpose of preserving a copy of Chrysostom’s letter and ultimately prompting attribution of the codex to John.237 Based on the creeds, Chapman evaluated the book’s original setting as fifth- or sixth-century in an orthodox milieu – a setting in which the Bible was studied with the aid of Eucherius.238 According to Ferrari, a sixth-century date might explain why Eucherius, Ambrose, De Abraham, and Victorinus of Pettau are also present together in Cassiodorus, Institutiones (ca. 530–550 ce).239 With Chapman, Ferrari regards the collection of creeds as of likely interest to Cassiodorus.240 John Chrysostom was known to Cassiodorus even if the latter does not mention Ep. Theod. I. He had Chrysostom’s homilies translated into Latin by Mutianus, and perhaps other works too. Cassiodorus is among the late candidates for authorship of the canon fragment. Ferrari also recalls that, until debunked by Mercati, the founding of the Vivarium (f. 544 ce near Squillace, Calabria, Italy) was based on an origin story about the Bobbian codices.241 Finally, she regards Eucherius as recognizably ‘Vivariensic’ since Cassiodorus includes Eucherius’s works in a codex also containing Tyconius, Augustine, De doctr. christ., Hadrian, Isagoge in scripturas,242 and Junilius Africanus.243 In terms of a presumed archetype, Ferrari urges caution. She concludes her study by qualifying the following statement of Buchanan: The Codex is a collection of tracts and creeds that appeared in the early Christian ages  – between the second and fìfth centuries… The prominence given to the writings of Eucherius of Lyons would suggest that the collection was made in Gaul or Spain rather than in Italy. The vulgarisms in the Codex support the hypothesis of a Gallic rather than an Italian origin.244

 Chapman, “L’Auteur du Canon Muratorien,” 258–64.  Chapman hypothesizes that the codex was a notebook kept by one of Cassiodorus’s (485– 585 ce) students at the Vivarium (i. e., Cassiodorus’s monastery-school): “En somme, je pense que l’on peut voir dans ce fameux manuscript la copie d’un carnet rempli de notes, faites dans la bibliothèque de Vivaria par quelque disciple de Cassiodore” (“L’Auteur du Canon Muratorien,” 263). 239 Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 38. Ferrari acknowledges the author of In Matt. Frag. as Victorinus of Pettau and thus includes him here. 240 Chapman, “L’Auteur du Canon Muratorien,” 258–63. 241  Mercati, De fatis, 14–19. E. A. Lowe, “Some Facts about our Oldest Latin Manuscripts,” Classical Quarterly 19 (1925): 197–208, here: 197, 205, which, according to Herbert Bloch, Lowe supplemented later in idem, Codices Latini Antiquiores, Part IV: Italy: Perugia-Verona (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1947), xx–xxvii. See review of Lowe by Bloch in Speculum 25 (1950): 277–87, here: 283. 242  PG 98:1300; CPG 6527; G. Mercati, “Pro Adriano,” RB 11 (1914): 246–55. 243  See Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 39, citing Alexander Souter, “Cassiodorus’s Copy of Eucherius’s Instructiones,” JTS 14 (1912): 69–72. See Cassiodorus, An Introduction to Divine and Human Readings, 95. 244  Buchanan, “Codex Muratorianus,” 539. 237 238


Chapter Three: Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.

The presence of Eucherius, she says, is fragile evidence on which to situate an archetype in Gaul. In terms of orthography alone, Lowe cautiously hypothesized an Irish exemplar; and, with greater decisiveness, Hillgarth followed.245 The late third or early fourth century has been suggested for an archetype, if the Comm. in Matt. is correctly attributed to Victorinus of Pettau. The second century has also been suggested based on the internal data of the canon list (ll. 73–80). Yet in Ferrari’s estimation, these hypotheses are anything but certain.246 What can be said with certainty, she says, is that a majority of the texts contained in this codex date somewhere between the middle of the fourth and fifth centuries, implying a collector no earlier than the mid-fifth century.247 Since Ambr I 101 sup. dates to the seventh or eighth century on paleographical grounds, it is possible that several centuries passed from the time a collector first united Ambrose (340– 397 ce), John Chrysostom (d. 407 ce), Eucherius (380–450 ce), the Arians, Luciferians, Priscillianists, and Pelagians in an anthology.248 On the other hand, 245  CLA 3:352. Cf. J. N. Hillgarth, “The East, Visigothic Spain, and the Irish,” Studia Patristica 4 (1961): 442–56, here: 448. About Ambr. I. 101 sup. Hillgarth comments, “copied at Bobbio (saec. VIII), probably from an Irish exemplar.” 246  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 39: “Cronologicamente il confine del II secolo è dato dal Canone Muratoriano: di datazione tutt’altro che sicura, e forse assai posteriore.” 247  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 39. 248  On the impact of this intervening period, Ferrari speculates (“Il Codex Muratorianus,” 40): “Adesso si intuisce una strada che esce allo scoperto in piena età longobarda, con vicenda bellissima, quando in Italia gli ultimi sprazzi di arianesimo e insieme lo Scisma Tricapitolino vengono spazzati da una politica decisa: non si vuole solo far guerra, ma studiare per costruire. E si recuperano i Padri, i dettati dei Concili, la teologia; per un attimo, contro gli ariani, giganteggia di nuovo la figura di Ambrogio ‘frusta’ degli ariani.’ La Sinodo di Pavia del 698, momento magico della pace, è incontro di vescovi e autorità per problemi religiosi; catalizza gli interessi degli uomini di cultura, maestri, monaci e preti; suscita una esile produzione letteraria in poesia ed è stimolo a trasmettere e copiare codici, a studiare. Poco dopo viene con fatica e volontà la stagione fiorente, sotto Liutprando. In un prossimo lavoro, spero tra breve, cercherò di ripercorrere questo segmento di storia, dall’archetipo all’apografo, del Codex Muratorianus, le ragioni delle sue caratteristiche fonetiche e morfologiche, il senso che i suoi testi, insieme ad una schiera di altri, ebbero nella Longobardia” (“Now you imagine a road that opens in plain view in the middle of the Lombardian period, with the most beautiful events, when in Italy the last flashes of Arianism together with the Schism of the Three Chapters (553–698 ce) are swept by a decisive policy: you do not just wage war, but study to build. The Fathers, the dictates of the Councils, theology are all recovered; and, for a moment, there stands again the figure of Ambrose as a whip against the Arians. The Synod of Pavia in 698 – the magical moment of peace – is an encounter of bishops and authorities over religious problems. It catalyzes the interests of men of culture, teachers, monks and priests; it arouses a modest literary production in poetry and is a stimulus to transmit and copy codices for the purpose of study. Shortly thereafter, with effort and desire, the flourishing season arrives, at the time of Liutprand. In a forthcoming work – I hope very soon – I will try to retrace this part of the Muratorian Codex’s history, from archetype to apograph, the reasons for its phonetic and morphological features, the meaning that its texts, together with a host of others, had in Longbardia). Pollastri (Frammenti esegetici su Matteo, 405) does not find Ferrari’s motivation for her conclusion altogether clear: “Ne deduce, ma senza darne a mio parere una chiara motivazione, che la silloge deve essere stata composta entro il quinto secolo, per cui vede trascorrere duecento- duecentocinquant’anni tra il collettore

D. Actual Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.


although Ferrari does not grant this possibility, the particular group of texts in their selection and arrangement may have had no archetype existing as a unity before their transcription in this book. Insofar as a codex is ultimately a product of the period in which is it copied, this collection will always in some sense belong to the late seventh or early eighth century.

Excursus: Anonymous, Abraham’s Sermon Ferrari concludes her article with a close examination of the Sermo de Abraham (henceforth abbreviated: Sermo de Abr.). Prior to her study, only Amelli had examined this short work and hastily, promising a more thorough future publication – a promise he was unable to keep. Generically and rhetorically the text is a sermo or sermocinatio (Gk. διάλογος).249 It is introduced by the ambiguous line, eidem de Abraham separating it from the previous text (excerpt from Ambrose, Abr. 1.5), which concludes on the same page as the Sermo begins (fol. 72r). Ferrari notes that the Ambrosian exegesis of Gen 18:1– 2 immediately prior is technically-speaking anonymous insofar as both initial and final columns are missing, obscuring the meaning of eidem at the beginning of the sermon.250 It is difficult to translate it as eiusdem (“of the same [author]”) since the name of the previous author is not indicated. Nevertheless, it probably suggests that Ambrose is regarded as the sermon’s author. That said, in Ferrari’s opinion, Ambrose was probably not the author of the sermon. Its lines neither excerpt from De Abraham, nor occur in any other work attributed to Ambrose. Lively, verbose, and full of vulgarisms, the style is not Ambrosian, although caution must be exercised, since the characteristic eloquence (i. e., claros et venuste compositos, “clear and gracefully composed”) of his more elaborate works would not pertain to a rewritten script of his preaching (e. g., Incarn., Hex., Nab., and Myst.). Ferrari describes the stylistic differences separating Ambrose’s formal publications from his sermons as unambiguous: rhetorical effects are features of the former while simpler syntax, a higher degree of repetition, and florid exempla characterize the latter. Two extant works best exemplify his sermonic features: Explanatio symboli and De sacramentis. Stylistically they are similar. Both utilize short periods and frequently employ direct apostrophes and interrogatives. According to Ferrari, De sacramentis is the shorthand version of a speech Ambrose delivered to prepare catechumens.251 It is the substratum of the treatise De mysdei testi e la copia a noi pervenuta” (“She infers from it that the miscellany had to be composed in the fifth century, but without giving to my mind a clear rationale for why she sees 200–250 years passing between the collector of the texts and the copy that survives today”). 249 διάλογος (sermocinatio) is a text in which a character speaks in the first person or a speaker poses questions to himself and answers them (Rhet. Her. 4.65). It is related to the rhetorical figure, προσωποποιία (Rhet. Her. 4.55; Quintilian, Inst. 9.2.31, 36; Dionysius of Halicarnassas, Th. 37). 250  In Gen 18:1–2, God promises a son to Abraham and Sarah: “The  Lord  appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground” (NRSV ). 251  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 42.


Chapter Three: Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.

teriis. The comparison between these two texts opens a window on Ambrose’s lively congregational tone. That said, neither the concepts nor the biblical citations of Abr. correspond to the Sermo de Abr. Even if Ambrose often points to Abraham in his works, he only comments at length on Gen 22:1–18 in Abr. 1.8.66–79 and Sermo de Abr. The sermon (English translation in Appendix F) begins with a brief narration that sets up prosopopoeia: the preacher poses a question to the great historical patriarch, Abraham. What follows is a dialogue between Abraham and Isaac that is loyal to the biblical text (Gen 22:7–8) with the exception of the angelic intervention halting the sacrifice.252 The final section (§ 6.2) presents Isaac as a τύπος or figura of Christ and introduces a comparison with Gen 1:26: faciamus hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem nostrum (“let us make humankind in our image and likeness”), after which the text e­ choes Gen 19:17, Acts 5:30, 10:39, and, obliquely, Rom 8:32.253 The reference to the creation of humankind is unusual (Ferrari: “alquanto originale,” “quite original”),254 replacing the connection between the sacrifice of Isaac and the verses of Paul found in other patristic writers (Rom 8:32, Deus … qui etiam Filio suo non pepercit sed pro nobis omnibus tradidit illum [“God … who did not spare his own son but delivered him up for us all”]). The more common association with Romans is based on shared meaning with Gen 22:12 (non peperceris filio tuo unigenito propter me [“since you have not witheld your only son from me”]) and assonance in the same verses (pepercit in Rom 8:32, peperceris in Gen 22:12). Faustinus255 features this same connection in De Trinitate 21 (11.6) as does Augustine in Civ. 16.32. A quotation of Rom 8:32 also occurs in homilies about Abraham by Greek authors such as John Chrysostom, ps.-Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria, and Origen (Hom. in Gen. 8).256 According to Ferrari, the logic and structure of Origen’s Hom. Gen. 8 (preserved only in the Latin translation of Rufinus of Aquileia) is similar to the Sermo de Abr.257 Other aspects of the Sermo de Abr. also suggest knowledge of, perhaps even reliance upon, this work. She offers the following five specific examples:

252 For the Latin text with English translation, see Appendix F. In Gen 22:7–8, God commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac:  “Isaac said to his father Abraham, ‘Father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ He said, ‘The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burntoffering?’ Abraham said, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together.” (NRSV ). 253  Gen 19:17, “When they had brought them outside, they said, ‘Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere in the Plain; flee to the hills, or else you will be consumed.’” Acts 5:30, “The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.” Acts 10:39, “We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.” Rom 8:32, “He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?” (NRSV ). 254  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 43. 255  Faustinus was a Luciferian (Lucifer of Cagliari) and a Roman presbyter. He supported the Roman bishop Liberius in exile (355–358) and assisted Ursinus against Damasus in the papal succession conflict of 366/67. Exiled, he pleaded for intervention from more than one emperor. He spells out his theological positions in the essay De trinitate. See Markus Vinzent, “Faustinus,” RPP (Leiden: Brill, 2007), consulted online on 16 June 2018, 256  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 43. 257  For the observations described below see Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 40–47.

D. Actual Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.


1. Origen’s comments: (a) laetus accesseris, laetus offer filium deo. Esto sacerdos animae filii tui; and (b) non cum tristitia; hilarem enim datorem diligit Deus (2 Cor 9:7) (Hom. Gen. 8, 7.23; 7.28; 10.23) may be the model for Sermo de Abr. 3: laetus accedam … hilaris plane et non tristis accingar … patris implet officium … sacerdotis officium. 2. Origen’s comment in Hom. Gen. 8, 6.13–15 (a filio prolata tentationis est vox. Quomodo enim putas immolandus filius for hanc vocem viscera paterna concussit?) might lie behind Sermo de Abr. 4: interrogat vox prolata infantiae paterna viscera his verbis concutit. 3. Origen’s phrase: non de praesenti sed de futuro dicit: Deus providebit ipse sibi ovem (Gen 22:8); futura respondit filio de praesentibus requirenti (Hom. Gen. 8, 6.22–24) may help to explain the phrase corrupted in the manuscript tradition of Sermo de Abr. 4: Dantur tamen in praesenti… 4. In Hom. in Gen. 8, 6:4–5 and 8:36–43, Origen weaves biblical passages into his discussion: Quod ipse sibi Ugna ad holocaustum (Gen 22:6) portat Isaac, illa figura est quod et Christus ipse sibi baiulavit crucem (John 19:17), Abraham … quia non pepercit filio suo … de Deo: qui proprio filio non pepercit, sed pro nobis omnibus tradidit illum (Rom 8:32) … Abraham mortalem filium non moriturum obtulit Deo; Deus immortalem filium pro hominibus tradidit morti. His expressions, futurae veritatis imaginem and Christus cuius imago est Isaac (Hom. in Gen. 8 1.55 and 9.15) may have influenced the repeated use of imago (three times) in the Sermo de Abr. 5. Sermo de Abr. 6 records: cui est (ipsi, cod.) gloria et imperium in saecula saeculorum. Amen. This formula is not rare in Greek and texts translated from Greek. It is customary in Origen and constant in the Rufinian version of the XIV Hom. in Gen. In the Latin West, it is not as widespread. Ferrari also points to several correspondences between expressions and concepts in the Sermo de Abr. and the sermons of Zeno of Verona.258 Zeno dedicates three full sermons and parts of two other sermons to this episode in Genesis 22 (Zeno, Tract. 1.4.36, 43, 59, and 62). The following phrase from Sermo de Abr. 5 agrees verbatim with this work: nec qui feriebatur timuit, nec qui feriebat expavit (Zeno, Tract. 1.62.5). Many shorter phrases also match, such as parricidium … laetabatur, armata dextra, and parce (Zeno, Tract. 1.43.4 and 6) (cf. parricidii laetus, dextra iam armata, and parce, parce in Sermo de Abr. 3 and 5). The description: libratur ad ictum vulneris securus animus, sed securior manus; elatus in immolandum gladius vibratur nec puerum mors (Zeno, Tract. 1.59.7) resembles: erigitur manus, stat in gladio mors, libratum vulnus pendet in iugulum (Sermo de Abr. 5). On Ferrari’s estimation, occasionally Zeno’s ideas are reworked in the Sermo de Abr. For example, cum filium proferret uterus, nepotem senectus optaret (Zeno, Tract. 1.59.4) resembles senectus illum proavum fecerat iuventutis, et Deus illum patrem fecit infantiae (Sermo 258  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 44–47. According to local tradition, Zeno (now patron saint of Verona) was Verona’s eighth bishop. The only mention of him occurs in a letter of uncertain date from Ambrose to Zeno’s successor Syagrius (Ep.  56[=5].1). His polemic against Arianism and paganism suggests he flourished in the second half of the fourth century, perhaps as Verona’s eighth bishop, ca.  370 ce. Topics of his writings (comprising homilies and brief sermon drafts) include Trinitarian theology, Mariology, and Christian allegorical interpretation of the zodiac. See Michaela Zelzer, “Zeno of Verona (Saint),” in RPP, consulted online 16 June 2018 (–5888_rpp_SIM_026499); Martin Heimgartner, “Zeno of Verona,” in  Brill’s New Pauly, consulted online 16 June 2018 (http://d​x ​.​d​o​i​.​o​r​g ​/​1​0​.​1​1​6​3​/15749347_bnp_e12215580).


Chapter Three: Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.

de Abr. 1). And, nec deest ad ministerium gladius, ut pater esset pariter et sacerdos and cesset … impietatis abominanda suspicio: Abraham dominum filio, sacerdotem praetulit patri, nec pium se credidit… (Zeno, Tract. 1.59.6 and 7) is substantially expressed by: duo officia … patris implet off ìcium … sacerdotis off ìcium … (Sermo de Abr. 3). Twice Zeno writes: in Isaac aliud offertur et aliud immolatur and sacrificium domini non dimittitur, sed mutatur (Tract. 1.59.9 and 1.62.5). Similarly, Sermo de Abr. 4 proposes: sacrificium non refunditur sed mutatur. The two writings also share the expression novum … genus (Zeno, Tract. 1.1.9 and 1. 42.1; Sermo de Abr. 2). That said, the structural organization of the Sermo de Abr. has nothing in common with any of Zeno’s surviving tractates. In this aspect, the sermon resembles ps.-Augustine, Sermo 7.259 Although these two works develop isolated themes differently, they share one important correspondence of content: ps.-Augustine’s description of Sarah (not in the Sermo de Abr.) seems to know Zeno, Tract. 1.59.3–5 and 1.62.2, triangulating the relationships between these three texts.260 The following five expressions (not in order) are equivalent or nearly equivalent in ps.Augustine, Sermo 7 and Sermo de Abr. 2:

 PL 39:1751–53. This homily, Sermo 7, De immolatione Isaac, has some similarities to Ambrosiaster’s Quaestiones Veteris et Novi Testamenti, although it is more rhetorically written (e. g., parallel clauses, alliteration) than most of Ambrosiaster’s writings (however, see Sophie Lunn-Rockliffe, Ambrosiaster’s Political Theology, Oxford Early Christian Studies [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007], 74–75). Comparing Sermo 7 (De immolatione Isaac) with Ambrosiaster’s Quaest. 117 (De Abraham), parallels of language and thought emerge. See A. Souter, ed., Quaestiones veteris et novi testamenti CXXVII, by pseudo-Augustine [Ambrosiaster], CSEL 50 (Vienna: Tempsky, 1908), 351–55. For example, Serm. 7 (col. 1751): Imparet parricidium, qui probibet homicidium? || Ambrosiaster, Quaest. 117.6 (ed. Souter, 354, 6–7): nec disputat an fieri debet deo iubente parricidium, qui homicidium ne fieret comminatus est. Both pieces also have interesting amplifications about Sarah, with Ambrosiaster accounting for the fact that Abraham did not inform her as to what was going on (sciens circa affectum filiorum procliviores in amore esse matres); while the author of the Sermon waxes on about the age of the parents and Sarah’s overall state. But the emphasis in Quaest. 117 is on fides, whereas the Sermon is sprinkled with more scripture (particularly the Pauline letters). With gratitude to Stephen A. Cooper for these observations. 260  This pseudo-Augustinian tract was written in the fourth century by the same person responsible for the complete Latin commentary on the corpus Paulinum written by Ambrosiaster. See Alexander Souter, A Study of Ambrosiaster, TS 7/4 (London: Cambridge University Press, 1905). The only recent edition and translation covers two of the longer “Questions” (French): Marie-Pierre Bussières, ed., Contre les païens et Sur le destin, by Ambrosiaster, SC 512 (Paris: Cerf, 2007). Bussières is preparing a new complete edition for the CCSL (addressing the complicated transmission history of the Quaestiones). David G. Hunter advocates for a fresh investigation of Ambrosiaster’s works in “The Significance of Ambrosiaster,” JECS 17 (2009): 1–26. His notes contain the significant bibliography, although since Souter there is very little. Hunter contributed part of the introduction to Theodore S. de Bruyn, Stephen A. Cooper and David G. Hunter, eds. Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, WGRW 41 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2017), xxiii–xxix. As Stephen Cooper demonstrates, “dramatic turns to address the audience” of precisely the type observed in the Sermo de Abr. are characteristic of Ambrosiaster. De Bruyn, Cooper and Hunter, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, lxxi. 259

D. Actual Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.


Table 8. Pseudo-Augustine, Sermo 7 and the Sermo de Abraham ps.-Augustine, Sermo 7261

Sermo de Abr. 2

1. paterna manu iubetur occidi (7.2.7–8) 2. novum praecepti genus (7.1.1) 3. imperat parricidium qui prohibet homicidium (7.1.11) 4. in angusto posita est perfecta iustitia (7.1.8–9) 5. filium est quidem scelus occidere; sed Deum scelestius non audire (7.1.7)

1. paternis manibus occidi praecipitur 2. novum praecepti genus 3. qui punit homicidium hominis, imperat homicidium 4. in angusto posita est perfecta iustitia 5. et licet scelus sit occidere filium, sed Deum scelestius non audire

Other verbal equivalences between Sermo 7 and Sermo de Abr. 2 include: (1) parricidium (five occurrences in Sermo 7, 1.3; 1.9; 1.11; 2.9; 2.22); (2) ad tam acerbum non moventur imperium (Sermo 7, 2.4–5); and (3) hilaris accingebatur (Sermo 7, 2.5). Verbal similarities include: (1) erigit dexteram feriturus (Sermo 7, 3.10); and (2) parce … parce, inquit … parce, inquit … parce (Sermo 7, 3.8; 3.10; 3.11; 3.15; 3.16; cf. Sermo de Abr. 5). A few general comparisons can also be detected. For example, they share the concept, Deus pro nobis filium suum iussit occidi, not nostros mactari. Ideo iubetur filium occidere (Sermo 7, 2.16–18; cf. Sermo de Abr. 6.10–12); and, the closing line of the two tractates contains the following correspondence: perficeret (Sermo de Abr. 6.14–15) and perfecisti (Sermo 7, 3.27). Ferrari expresses certainty that both texts borrow from Zeno although she does not speculate beyond that, merely stating that she doubts ps.-Augustine and the author of the Sermo de Abr. are chronologically distant. Assuming the author of Sermo de Abr. had read Origen-Rufinus, Homilies on Genesis, the evidence places this author in the first half of the fifth century. To hypothesize further requires ascertaining the text’s theological environment. To this end, Ferrari proposes an examination of the Pelagian theme of the significance of free will as stated in Sermo de Abr. 5: Effectus rerum in sola voluntate consistit, perfecte aliquid volens se fecisse (“For, to God, the accomplishment of actions exists in the will alone, that [only] by wishing something perfectly, he has accomplished it”). She proposes an analogy with Augustine’s position in C. Iul. op. imp. 3.111: autem in superioribus voluntatem perfectam magis quam rerum effectus locavi, quoniam et parricidium et sacrilegium. (“On the other hand, earlier I regarded the perfect will as greater than cause, since [it is] both parricide and sacrilege”). Elsewhere, in dispute with the Pelagians, Augustine writes: omne malum, quod peccatum definitur, asseritis non in natura sed in sola voluntate consistere (“You claim that every evil which is defined as sin consists not in nature but in the will alone,” C. Iul. 3.4). Ferrari concludes that to say more, additional work is necessary, especially in view of the fact that other writings in the Muratorian Codex (e. g., Eucherius) were connected to Pelagians and Semipelagians.262

261 Verses

in ps.-Augustine: 7, 2.7–8; 1.1; 1.11; 1.8–9; 1.7–8.  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 47.



Chapter Three: Codicology, Paleography, and Contents of Ambr. I 101 sup.

E. Conclusion The ex libris at the beginning of the collection of texts known as the Muratorian Codex ascribes the volume to Columbanus showing that it was held in the Middle Ages by the abbey library of Bobbio. This codex contains major lettertractates by Eucherius and John Chrysostom, in addition to roughly a dozen excerpts and fragments from other works with an emphasis on the writings of Ambrose and ps.-Ambrose. It is the unique witness of no fewer than five of these works. Only Chrysostom’s name appears on the original cover of the book. The canon list is not acknowledged in the earliest table of contents. In its position between the two major works of Eucherius  – on the first pages (fols. 10r–11r) of the second (current) quire following what scholars believe was a multiple quire lacuna – the anonymous fragment’s position and presence in this codex are difficult to explain. On paleographical grounds, the Fragment appears to be a secure element of the original codex (i. e., copied by the same hand as most of the rest of the codex). On this point, however, Ferrari demurs from the published opinion of a prior examiner, Lowe, who believed that the codex involved multiple hands.263 With respect to fols. 10r–12v (which contain the Muratorian Fragment and a duplicated Ambrosian excerpt), it is possible that these pages were originally left blank to separate the two major works of Eucherius. In terms of comparable codices, Ferrari emphasizes similarities with Sess. 77, which, if it lacks a canon list, also contains the two major works of Eucherius (Formulae and Instructiones) and a group of creeds. If Ferrari is correct, the Muratorian Codex is not a random composite or miscellany collection – two themes (repentance and faith) and one historical personage (Abraham) unifying its distinct texts. A majority of its contents further suggest a reference work for exegesis with articles of faith. Chrysostom’s letter is exceptional in the context since it belongs to ascetic exhortation, although it is united to Eucherius’s works by its epistolary genre. Another possible theme uniting the codex is eschatology, with the sub-themes of Abraham, asceticism, chiliasm, Pelagianism, and numerology. But questions remain.264 How was the 263  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 22, with the table between 8 and 9. Buchanan does not mention the number of hands but seems to presume the codex was copied by a single scribe (“Codex Muratorianus,” 538). 264  What is more, in its reflection of eschatological themes, the collection shares aspects in common with a late eighth-century codex from St. Gall of Petrus’s Latin translation of the Syriac Ps.-Methodius, MS Saint Gall, Stiftsbibliothek 225. This copy includes parts of Eucherius’s Formulae and Instructiones (Mandolfo, introduction of Formulae, xi), excerpts of Isidoriana, and more than one computus (see Gustav Scherrer, Verzeichniss der Handschriften der Stiftsbibliothek von St. Gallen: Codices 1–1725 [Halle: Waisenhaus, 1875; repr. Hildesheim and New York: G. Olms, 1975], 80–81). It possesses millenarian (chiliastic) overtones. The Fragment’s coordination of the Pauline letters (churches and individual) to the pattern of seven churches in Revelation as well as its provisional acceptance of three apocalypses suggest a similar emphasis.

E. Conclusion


codex used? Was the volume intended for professional or public use? If professional, was it intended for a monk, cleric, or lay person? If personal, how might the texts and excerpts have aided their owner? Can the theme(s) of the volume (e. g., repentance, faith, the figure of Abraham) help us to narrow its original context? Such questions will be discussed at greater length in Chapter 6. The Fragment’s Latinity is the topic of the next chapter.

Chapter Four

Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment A. Introduction This chapter takes as its focus the Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment. Related to this problem is the question whether a Greek Urtext or a Latin archetype predate the surviving text. Most twentieth-century studies about the Fragment or utilizing it as supporting evidence rely on Hans Lietzmann’s 1933 reconstruction of the Latin text. Lietzmann’s edition provides what historians of his generation referred to as a “diplomatic edition;” that is, a literal transcription of the text created on the basis of a facsimile on the left page with a version in which word division and orthography are standardized on the opposite page.1 Editions of this type – utilizing classical standards – are very helpful. For postclassical Greek and Latin texts, however, they may introduce issues where none exist. Such editorial interventions also make sense in the case of multiple manuscripts (even families of manuscripts), as with most early Christian texts including the New Testament; but in cases of a single surviving witness, editorial intervention must exercise caution.2 If multiple copies of the Muratorian Fragment were extant, a critical edition of the usual type might reveal the author and text, but because posterity has endowed us with only one copy, the extant text’s paleography, codicology, and Latinity (historical philology) – erased in the standardization process  – are our best means of historically locating it. Modern editorial emendations and conjectures are crucial for understanding, but to homogenize a text according to modern standards it does not accept, is to strip away its historical patina – its most valuable and expressive elements. This chapter regards the assumption that the Fragment is an imperfect copy as a premise in need of proof. By focusing on Latinity, it seeks to establish a reliable 1  Lietzmann, Das Muratorische Fragment, 4–11. Diplomatic editions typically preserve the textual features of the original manuscript. A critical edition tends to standardize orthography and punctuation, etc. Lietzmann’s Das Muratorische Fragment contains one of each. He also provides a limited apparatus and Jerome’s preface to his commentary on Matthew on the bottom of 10–11: “Der Evangelienprolog des Hieronymus ist wegen der sachlichen Berührungen als Anhang beigegeben” (3). See discussion in Chapter 6. 2  Leonard Boyle, “Optimist or Recensionist? ‘Common Errors’ or ‘Common Variations?’” in Latin Script and Letters a. d. 400–900: Festschrift Presented to Ludwig Bieler on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday, ed. John J. O’Meara and Bernd Naumann (Leiden: Brill, 1976), 264–74.


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

and conservative terminus post quem for the text we have today, and not for a more perfect, imagined predecessor.

B. The Fragment’s Language: A Brief History of the Debate Almost unanimously, scholars formally investigating the Fragment agree that a medieval copyist inflicted severe corruption on the Latin original. This was, after all, Muratori’s ostensible purpose in publishing it. Some scholars regard the Latin original as the translation of a prior Greek text. Some treat the existence of a Greek original as a prolegomenon to the question of the Fragment’s Latinity. Since Latin translations from Greek originals were rare at the time of the production of Ambr. I 101 sup. (i. e., eighth century), it is often assumed that the translation goes back to the fourth or fifth century when they were commonplace. Muratori assumes a Greek original written by Gaius, presbyter in Rome (ca. 200 ce).3 Others accepting a Greek Urtext include: C. Bunsen,4 P. A. Böttlicher (Lagarde),5 B. F. Westcott,6 A. Hilgenfeld,7 Theodor Zahn,8 and J. B. Lightfoot.9 Those who argued for a Latin original include: F. H. Hesse,10 C. P. Caspari,11 G. Salmon,12

 Antiquitates Italicae, 3:851.  Bunsen includes the Greek reconstruction of P. A. de Lagarde: Bunsen, Analecta Ante Nicaena, 1:142–43. Paul Bötticher, “Versuch einer Herstellung des Canon Muratorianus,” Zeitschrift für die gesammte lutherische Theologie und Kirche 10 (1854): 127–29 (Paul Bötticher is also known as Paul Anton de Lagarde. In early adulthood, he adopted the family name on his maternal side); Martin Hertz, “Hegesippi: Fragmentum de Canone Novi Testamenti quod dicitur Muratorianum,” in Analecta ante-Nicaena, ed. C. C. J. B. Bunsen, 3 vols. (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1854), 1:137–55. Tregelles reports that the Greek reconstruction in Hertz-Bunsen is that of Bötticher (Lagarde) (Canon Muratorianus, 6).  5 Bötticher, “Versuch einer Herstellung des Canon Muratorianus,” 127–29.  6  Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 214, 216–17 (esp. nn. 1, 2).  7  Adolf Hilgenfeld, Historisch-kritische Einleitung in das Neue Testament (Leipzig: Fues, 1875), 97–98. For additional discussion of the history of scholarship, see Chapter 2 above.  8  Zahn, Geschichte des Neutestamentliche Kanons, 140–43.  9  Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, 1.2:405–13. For a total of nine, Harnack summarizes Lightfoot’s five and Zahn’s four arguments (supplementing Bonwetsch and Robinson) in favor of Hippolytean authorship (“Über den Verfasser,” 1–5). Theodore Henry Robinson, “The Authorship of the Muratorian Canon,” Expositor 7/1 (1906): 481–95. Gottfried Nathanael Bonwetsch argues that Hippolytus’s position on the Wisdom of Solomon in In Cant. 1.14 – namely, denoting Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs as the only writings by Solomon while using Wisdom as Solomon’s work with the understanding that “the wise friends of Hezekiah took what was useful for the edification of the Church from Solomon’s scriptures” – backs his authorship of the Fragment (“Nachtrag zu dem Aufsatz ‘Hippolytisches,’” Nachrichten von der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Philologisch-Historische Klasse [1923]: 63–64, here: 64). 10  Hesse, Das Muratorische Fragment, 25–39. 11  Caspari, Quellen zur Geschichte des Taufsymbols und der Glaubensregel, 3:410. 12  Salmon, “Muratorian Fragment,” DCB 3:1000–1.  3  4

B. The Fragment’s Language


A. Harnack,13 and A. Ehrhardt.14 Lightfoot argues that the text reads “much more naturally” in Greek: “The whole cast and connexion of the sentences are Greek.”15 Often omitted from the discussion is Lightfoot’s conclusion that the original Greek text was metered.16 Theodor Zahn too believes that the text represents a translation.17 In the nineteenth century, Gottfried Kuhn helpfully collated the hypothetical Greek translations of Zahn, Hilgenfeld, and Lightfoot (see Appendix G).18 Bunsen attributes the Greek original to Hegesippus’s five books of ὑπομνήματα (i. e., Greek).19 Credner objects that Hegesippus (fl. 174– 189 ce) accepted the Gospel of the Hebrews (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 4.22), whereas the Fragment does not.20 Tregelles submits that if Hegesippus wrote the Fragment, Eusebius would not have failed to mention it in his Ecclesiastical History.21 Supporting his conviction that the Fragment is a passage translated from the Hypotyposes of Clement of Alexandria, John Chapman briefly discusses Latin phrases in the Fragment that he thinks indicate a Greek original. Many such speculations also appear in the studies of Zahn and Westcott.22 The Latin translation of John Chrysostom’s originally Greek Ep. Theod. I in the Muratorian Codex led Westcott to favor a Greek original of the Fragment.23 However, the rest

13  Harnack, Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur, 1.2:646–47; idem, “Über den Verfasser,” 1–16. 14  Arnold Ehrhart, The Framework of the New Testament Stories (Cambridge: Harvard University, 1964), 11. 15  “Muratorian Fragment,” 187; reprinted in, idem, Apostolic Fathers, 1.2:408. 16  “Muratorian Fragment,” 188; idem, Apostolic Fathers, 408–11. 17  See Zahn, Geschichte, 2:128: “Der Beweis, daß dieser Text eine Übersetzung aus dem Griechischen sei, scheint erbracht zu sein” (“The proof that this text is a translation from the Greek appears to be provided”). 18 Das Muratorische Fragment, 114–18. The individual publications are as follows: Hilgenfeld, Historisch-kritische Einleitung, 97–98; Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, 405–13; Zahn, Geschichte, 2:140–43. Cf. Martin Hertz “Hegesippi: Fragmentum de Canone Novi Testamenti,” in Bunsen, Analecta Ante-Nicaena, 1:12–55, with a Greek reconstruction at 142–55. 19  Analecta Ante-Nicaena, 1:125–55. 20  Carl August Credner, Geschichte des Neutestamentlichen Kanons, ed. G. Volkmar (Berlin: Georg Reimer, 1860), 142–43. Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 4.22: Καὶ ἕτερα δὲ πλεῖστα γράφει, ὧν ἐκ μέρους ἤδη πρότερον ἐμνημονεύσαμεν, οἰκείως τοῖς καιροῖς τὰς ἱστορίας παραθέμενοι, ἔκ τε τοῦ καθ᾿ Ἑβραίους εὐαγγελίου καὶ τοῦ Συριακοῦ καὶ ἰδίως ἐκ τῆς Ἑβραΐδος διαλέκτου τινὰ τίθησιν, ἐμφαίνων ἐξ Ἑβραίων ἑαυτὸν πεπιστευκέναι … On the historical figure of Hegesippus, see Christoph Markschies, “Hegesippus,” Brill’s New Pauly, consulted online on 20 July 2020, . 21 “Canon Muratorianus,” 5 n. “d.” 22 Chapman, “L’Auteur du Canon Muratorien,” 242. 23 Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 214, 216–17. Favoring a Greek original, Hahneman summarizes: “The hypothesis of a Greek original for the Fragment has aided in interpreting some of the confusing passages of the Fragment, like the writing of Wisdom by ‘friends’ of Solomon, or the number of Epistles of John mentioned. Finally, it might be noted that most of the works in the Codex Muratorianus are known translations from Greek, and all of the identifiable works date from the late fourth and fifth century” (“Victorinus of Pettau as


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

of the codex contains texts originally written in Latin, including the duplicated Ambrosian fragment immediately following the Fragment. A number of more recent publications also voice support for a Greek original, including those of Everett Ferguson,24 Joseph Verheyden,25 Christoph Mark­ schies,26 Enrico Norelli,27 Eckhard J. Schnabel,28 J. J. Armstrong (bilingual approach, Latin original with Graecizing tendency),29 and Christophe Guignard.30 Guignard characterizes the Claves as illustrative of the status quaestionis today: The Fragment is not included in the first editions of the CPL, but it is registered as no. 1862 in the first volume of the CPG (1983), in the section devoted to Roman writers. However, although the CPG assumes that it is a Greek text, it makes its appearance in the third edition of the CPL (1995) under no. 83a, with the following comment: Saepius legitur hoc frustulum Ambrosianum e graeco translatum esse; argumenta peremptoria nondum legi.31

As with discussions of the Fragment’s author and date, scholars have arrived at a stalemate. Prioritizing the extant text, the next section covers Latinity. It is followed by a section dedicated to arguments for a Greek original.

Latinity Julio Campos Over the last eighty years, very few scholars have made the Fragment’s Latinity their sole and explicit topic.32 The most important of these studies (upon which the later studies build) is that of Julio Campos (1960). Based on a close Author of the Muratorian Fragment?” Revisiting Questions of its Authorship and Date,” unpublished essay shared by the author, 14). 24  “Since the Canon Muratori is generally recognized to be translated from a Greek original …” (“Canon Muratori,” 678). 25 Verheyden, “Canon Muratori,” 487–556. 26  Christoph Markschies, Christian Theology and its Institutions in the Early Roman Empire: Prolegomena to a History of Early Christian Theology, trans. Wayne Coppins (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2015), 202–9; idem, “Haupteinleitung,” in Antike christliche Apokryphen in deutscher Übersetzung, 1:65–67. 27 Enrico Norelli, “Les bases de la formation du canon du Nouveau Testament,” in De Paul apôtre à Irénée de Lyon, vol. 2 of Histoire de la littérature grecque chrétienne, ed. Enrico Norelli and Bernard Pouderon (Paris: Cerf, 2013), 915–91, esp. 972–81. 28  Schnabel, “Muratorian Fragment,” 231–64. 29 Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 3–4. 30  Guignard correctly notes that the matter was not a pressing concern for either Sundberg or Hahneman (“Original Language,” 598). 31 Guignard, “Original Language,” 597. Cf. Maurice Geerard, Clavis patrum graecorum (Turnhout: Brepols, 1983), 1:1862. 32  Ferrari considers but does not take up a possible Greek original. However, she makes interesting observations concerning the Latin text, taking into consideration new work on regional and other variations in medieval Latin pronunciation (“Il Codex Muratorianus,” 24–25).

B. The Fragment’s Language


philological analysis of the text, Campos argues that the frequent orthographic errors of the Fragment are common to post-second century Latin. Campos categorizes problems in the text in three categories: phonetic, spelling, and morphology. The first group reflects the state of the language at the time of copying, the second group is the result of an ignorant copyist, and the third group is attributed to a unique Romanesque tendency (i. e., to drop the -m and -s).33 A few cases in which the Fragment has, for example, duas and obtime theofile seem to be due to ignorance of the scribe, whereas others, such as tertio for tertium and assianom for Assiano are due to phonetic changes, and yet others are of dubious interpretation. Campos offers the following principles: 1. Vowel alternation between -it and -et and the reverse is common beginning in the second half of the fourth century.34 2. Beginning in the third century, the endings -es and -is are often interchanged.35 3. The letter -o for -u in the -um ending is common in Peregrinatio Aetheriae (4th–5th century) as well as the ending -o for -u.36 4. In non-final, unaccented syllables, vowel exchanges from i to e and from u to o and the reverse are common beginning in the third century and, in Italy, the exchange includes from e to i in the fourth through sixth centuries.37 5. In the tonic (i. e., stressed) syllable the i is written for closed e from the beginning of the third century.38 6. Examples of closed o for ū are seen beginning in the third century and are frequent in the fourth century, except in Sardinia, part of Corsica, Albania and Romania, where both long and short continued to be pronounced.39 7. Inverse use of i for closed e, and u for ō: the former is seen in the third century and especially in the following later centuries, and the latter perhaps as early as the third century, as recorded by the inscriptions but it is more frequent in later centuries.40 8. As for the consonant changes, the preservation of b in forms of the verb scribo before t may be due to the copyist’s ignorance; in the words correbtione and Apocalypse it is probably due to mutual substitution and confusion.41  Campos, “Epoca,” 491.  Campos, “Epoca,” 491. 35 Campos, “Epoca,” 491. Hahneman offers examples from the Fragment: “Iohannis for Iohannes (ll. 9, 15, 57); colosensis for colossenses (ll.  52–53); and tensaolenecinsis for thessalonicenses (l. 53)” (Muratorian Fragment, 11). 36  Campos, “Epoca,” 491. 37  Campos, “Epoca,” 491. 38  Campos, “Epoca,” 491–92. Hahneman offers examples from the Fragment: “discriberet for describeret (l. 16); comprindit for comprehendit (l. 36); and philippinses for philippenses (l. 51)” (Muratorian Fragment, 11). 39  Campos, “Epoca,” 492. 40  Campos, “Epoca,” 492. 41  Campos, “Epoca,” 492. 33 34


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

9. The p for b in puplicare is a confusion of two labials, as was already taking place in the third century.42 10. Regarding the velars, c was written for g prior to the fourth century.43 11. Final -m, which sounded weak in pre-Christian Latin, soon disappears in the inscriptions and in common speech, often being dropped.44 12. The final -s completely disappeared from pronunciation in almost all of Italy and perhaps in Romania in the second and third centuries, except in monosyllables. On the other hand, in Gaul and Spain and some other regions, it is preserved, probably due to indigenous linguistic habits.45 Regarding syntax, Campos argues that the Fragment does not present the anomalies that occur in texts of the sixth to eighth centuries, for example in the Itinerarium de situ Terrae Sanctae of Theodosius, especially in connection with the relative clause.46 In addition, Campos argues that the vocabulary of the Fragment supports a late fourth century date, listing ten examples with explanations: 1. coneiunate (l. 11) This compound form of the verb ieiuno is not found either in biblical versions or in Christian Latin. It is a hapax legomenon of the Fragment (cf. Acts 14:22).47 2. alterutrum (l.  12) = mutuo, invicem. This adverbial accusative generally translates the Greek ἀλλήλους or ἐν ἀλλήλοις, and appears frequently in Latin versions (e. g., Gen. 13:11; 1 Kgs 20:41; Jdt 5:26; Rom 15: 5, 14; 1 John 3:11, 23; 4:11. Jerome, Comm. Gal. 3.6.5).48 3. principali spiritu (l. 19) Transcription of the biblical πνεύματι ἡγεμονικῷ (NRSV: “most high”) of Ps 50:14. In the Vetus and Vulgate versions, principali is used, but in the Hebrew version, Jerome translates potenti.49 4. conversatione (l.  22) With the sense of “treatment, friendly relations,” it comes from postclassical Latin with Seneca and others and passes into the Latin of the Vulgate (Dan 2:11) and to the Christians.50 5. in semetipso (l. 29) Traces of Biblical Greek ἐν ἑαυτῷ or αὐτῷ.51 6. palpaverunt (l. 31) Biblical translation of ἐφηλάφησαν applied to this verse. It is only found in Jerome, Comm. Ezech. apud 40:24; Comm. Abd. apud 1:1.52 7. visurem (l. 32) This form only appears in one manuscript of Tacitus, Ann. 16.2 (Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut. 68.1, eleventh century); it  Campos, “Epoca,” 492.  Campos, “Epoca,” 492. 44  Campos, “Epoca,” 492. 45 Campos, “Epoca,” 492. 46  Campos, “Epoca,” 492–93. 47 Campos, “Epoca,” 493. 48 Campos, “Epoca,” 493. 49 Campos, “Epoca,” 493. 50  Campos, “Epoca,” 493. See discussion of this word in Chapter 6. 51  Campos, “Epoca,” 493. 52  Campos, “Epoca,” 493. 42 43

B. The Fragment’s Language


is, therefore, doubtful, and many critical editions exclude it. Later, it occurs only in Augustine, Acad. 2.7.19 and Gloss. Isid. (PL 83 1:377 s. v.).53 8. per ordinem (l. 33) is a prepositional phrase that occurs already in Quintilian, Inst. 4.2.72, but its frequent usage is not until the Vulgate and is added or epexegetical to the original text (e. g., Gen 43:7 etc.).54 9. intimans (l. 45) This term appears neither in classical nor postclassical literature, but in the historians of the Historia Augusta (fourth century) with the meaning of “announcing, communicating” and before in the third century with Cyprian, Ep. 45.2 and later in Ambrose, Parad. 1.1 etc.55 10. prodecessuris (l. 48) This form of praedecessor is rare and is only attested in Symmachus in the late fourth century, and later in Leo, Ep. 106; Augustine, Bapt. 2.7.12; Cassiodorus, Var. Lexemes of particular salience to his argument include intimans (l. 45, no occurrences in classical or post-classical Latin), visor (l.  32, first occurrence in Augustine), per ordinem (ll.  33–34, common occurrences in Vulgate), and palpaverunt (ll. 30–34, occurrences in Jerome’s exegetical works). Thus, Campos concludes: El autor de Fragmentum revela conocer muy bien la Vulgata, y prefiere en su traducción el texto jeronimiano al de las versiones antiguas; y puesto que el contenido parece indicar como lugar de origen la misma Roma, no puede adelantarse la época de nuestro documento antes de bien entrado el siglo V, cuando se iba adoptando la versión Latina del solitario de Belén en la iglesia romana. The author of the Fragmentum reveals a very good knowledge of the Vulgate, and prefers Jerome’s translation of the text to that of the older versions; and since the content seems to indicate Rome as the place of origin, the date of our document cannot be anticipated before well into the fifth century, when the Latin version of the monk from Bethlehem was adopted in the Roman church.57

Based on his fifth-century date of the Fragment’s Latinity, Campos accepts the hypothesis of a Greek original to make sense of the Fragment’s internal dating.58  Campos, “Epoca,” 493.  Campos, “Epoca,” 493–94. 55  Campos, “Epoca,” 494. 56  Campos, “Epoca,” 494. 57  Campos, “Epoca,” 496. 58  Campos, “Epoca,” 494–95. Based on parallels to palpaverunt in the citation of 1 John in MF l. 31 in Jerome (Comm. Ezech., Comm. Abd., dated to 396 ce), Campos dates the text no earlier than the last three years of the fourth century (“del último trienio del siglo iv”) (495). Yet Campos acknowledges Zahn’s conclusion that the Fragment appears to come from fifth- or sixth-century Gaul when compared with Peregrinatio Aetheriae (Itinerarium Egeriae). Zahn defends this position as follows: “Ich denke eher an das 5. oder 6., als an das 4. Jahrhundert, und möchte vermuthen, daß die Überseztung [i.e., from a Greek original] in Gallien entstanden ist” (Geschichte, 2:131, n. 2 specifies parallels with the Itinerarium Egeriae). Zahn substantiates his claim in a footnote: “Man vergleiche das Latein der schon mehrerwähnten Peregrinatio einer vornehmen Gallierin von 390 (s. besonders Bd. I, 46): z. B. p. 36.66 per giro; p. 37 per girum; 53 54


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

Bilingual Case for Victorinus of Pettau Following its publication, I am aware of no scholar who seriously disputes Campos’s argument. Rather, it is marshalled as evidence both by those supporting the Fragment’s second-century date and by those supporting the Fragment’s fourth-century date. Those dating the composition of the Fragment to the second century simply, like Campos, conjecture a Greek original behind the fifth-century Latin text. A notable exception is J. J. Armstrong who proposes a third-century Latin original.59 Based in part on Jerome’s statement that Victorinus’s writings possess erudition of content in a poor Latin style, Armstrong defends the conjecture first put forward by Pierre Vallin60 that the third-century bishop, Victorinus of Pettau (250–303 ce, modern Ptuj in northeastern Slovenia), was the likely author of the Fragment in Latin, reflecting Greek idioms, but with no genuine Greek forbearer.61 For him the MF was known to ancient writers as the prologue to Vicp. 42 per valle illa media und per ipsam totam vallem; p. 46 per heremo und per heremum; p. 87 per toto anno; p. 49 in honore; p. 71 ganz gleichbedeutend in honorem (cf. Can. Mur l. 61, 70); p 88 completo earum septimanarum vigiliae; p. 90 intratur in septimana paschale, … iuxta septimana omne. Die Vergleichung des in derselben Hs. doch wohl von der gleichen Hand geschriebenen Traktats des Hilarius de mysteriis, worin die Sprache des beredten Bischofs von Poitiers sehr correct wiedergegeben ist, bürgt dafür, daß die Sprachformen der Peregrinatio in der That von der vornehmen Gallierin (Silvia?) herrühren. Sie hatte allerdings drei Jahre im Orient gelebt und griechisch gesprochen und mischt allerlei griechische Brocken in ihre Rede (s. Bd. I,46 f. A. 4 am Ende). Aber so rasch verlernt man die Sprache seiner Heimat nicht. Sehr lehrreich sind auch die beiden Traktate des Bischofs Germanus von Paris um 560 über die Messe, MarteneDurand, Thesaur. nov. anecdot. V,91–100. Auch das Latein schon der älteren Recensionen des Liber Pontificalis liefert Parallelen genug z. B. der Catal. Felicianus bei Duchesne p. 90 et per rogato Marciani Agusti, orthodoxi principes; ex huius praeceptum factum est concilium. Ich weiß nicht, ob die Vermeidung des doppelten s etwas zu schaffen hat mit der Bemerkung des gallischen Grammatikers Consentius: item S literam Gracci exiliter ecferunt adeo, ut, cum dicunt ‘iussit,’ per unum S dicere existimes (Gramm. lat. ed. H. Keil, vol. V, 395). Es könnte Einer jener zwischen Griechisch und Lateinisch in die Mitte gestellten Kelten (Bd. I 44–47), oder auch ein im Abendland ansässiger Grieche der Übersetzer sein. Wohin weist ferner die Vertauschung von c und g (s oben S. 11.81), unter anderem auch in dem Namen Galatae (l. 43.52 geschrieben Callatis oder Callactis und Calatis cf. Γαλάται, Κέλται, Γάλλοι), sodann die häufige Schreibung eclesia, was da, wo g und c vertauscht wurden, in der Aussprache von eglesia kaum verschieden gewesen sein kann? Das einmalige tensaol. l. 53 neben einmaligem thesaol. l. 54 erinnert an das in Bibelhss. verschiedener Herkunft vorkommende, aber im Cod. Cantabrigiensis (ed. Scrivener p. XLIII) ausnahmslos so geschriebene thensaurus cf. Rönsch, Itala S. 459” (Geschichte, 2:131–32 n. 2). 59 Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 30–31. The thesis is related to that of Giovanni Mercati, who attributed the fragment by the anonymous chiliast in Ambr. I 101 sup. fols. 19r–29v to Victorinus. See Mercati, “I. Anonymi Chiliastae in Matthaeum,” 1–49. 60 Vallin writes: “Une solution simple serait … d’attribuer à Victorin l’original lui-même du Muratorianum. Celui-ci connaissait les sources greques et son latin (comme le montre le travail de Jérôme sur le commentaire de l’Apocalypse) était défectueux. Cela expliquerait les traits du texte qui ont fait penser à un original grec …” (“La Formation de la Bible chrétienne,” 236). 61  Jerome remarks that Victorinus’s compositions in Latin were important for content not

B. The Fragment’s Language


torinus’s commentary on Matthew. Like Origen, Victorinus probably discussed all four gospels in his lost prologue to Matthew. Jerome depended, by his own testimony, on Victorinus’s commentary on Matthew for his prologue to Matthew. Victorinus is, moreover, one of the witnesses of the Johannine legend (see further below). Chromatius also seems to know the Fragment and employs it in the prologue to his commentary on Matthew. The central contribution of Victorinus to scholarship  – who was probably born in Greece and, thus, may have known Greek better than Latin  – is exegetical. He wrote commentaries on many biblical books including Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Habakkuk, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Matthew, and Revelation. Only the commentary on Revelation, a proto-hexameron, and a collection of dates in the life of Jesus remain today.62 As one of the first Latin exstyle (Vir. ill. 74.1; cf. Ep. 58.10; 70.5). See Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 3. However, Jerome also derided the work of Victorinus as “completely ignorant of scripture” (Jerome, Commentary on Galatians, trans. Andrew Cain, FC 121 [Washington, D. C.: Catholic University of America, 2010], 57). Moreover, if the original Latin of the Fragment was not corrupt, Victorinus’s al­legedly poor Latin style is irrelevant. Adolf von Harnack disputes the authorship of Hippolytus proposing that the author was either Victor of Rome (d. 199 ce) or Zephyrinus (d. 217 ce) (“Über den Verfasser,” 15). With seven proofs, Harnack argues for a literary relationship between the Fragment and Victorinus: “Unzweifelhaft liegt hier eine beachtenswerte Argumentation vor: Daß Hippolyt die Sieben Gemeinden in der Apokalypse mit den sieben Gemeinden, an die Paulus geschrieben, wie der Verfasser des Fragments und wie Viktorin zusammengestellt hat, steht nach Dionysius Barsalibi fest, und ebenso ist unverkennbar, daß zwischen dem Fragment und Viktorin eine literarische Verwandtschaft besteht; den sie treffen sich in folgenden Stücken: (1) in der Zusammenstellung der sieben Paulus- und der Sieben Johannes-Gemeinden, (2) in der Auffassung, die Siebenzahl bedeute die Einzahl und deshalb hätten beide Apostel in Wahrheit an die Gesamtkirche geschrieben (“quod uni dicit, omnibus dicit”), (3) in dem “orbis” (“in toto orbe”  – “per omnem orbem terrae”), (4)  in dem “nominatin” (“septem nominatim vocabulis suis” – “non nisi nominatim septem”), (5) daß sie beide eine förmliche Aufzählung der paulinischen Gemeinden geben, (6) daß sie beide darauf von den Briefen des Paulus an Privatpersonen handeln, und (7) daß sie als Zweck dieser Gemeindeordnung bezeichnen (“qualiter debeas conversari in aede dei” – “ordinatio ecclesiasticae disciplinae”). Aus diesem Tatbestand muß notwendig gefolgert werden, daß Viktorin entweder das Muratorische Fragment selbst benutzt oder eine gemeinsame Quelle mit ihm hat. Der letzteren Annahme darf man sich aber nach der Grundregel der literarischen Kritik nur dann zuwenden, wenn sich die erstere als undurchführbar erweist. Dies ist aber keineswegs der Fall, zumal sich wörtliche Übereinstimmungen finden” (“Über den Verfasser,” 11). Harnack admits that the two sources list the Pauline churches in a different order, but concludes that Victor modified the old, idiosyncratic list with one popular in his own day (11–12). 62  CPL 79–83. The surviving part of Victorinus’s hexameron commentary is edited as De fabrica mundi in Roger Gryson, ed., Opera, by Victorinus of Pettau, CCSL 5 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2017), 293–300; Johannes Haussleiter, ed., Opera, by Victorinus of Pettau, CSEL 49 (Vienna: Tempsky, 1916), 3–9. See also Henrik Hildebrandt, “Victorinus of Pettau (Saint),” RPP (Leiden: Brill, 2007), consulted online 21 July 2020, rpp_SIM_026345; Martine Dulaey, ed., Sur l’Apocalypse, suivi du Fragment chronologique et de La construction du monde. Introduction, texte critique, traduction, commentaire et notes, by Victorinus of Pettau (Paris: Cerf, 1997); Rajko Bratož, Il cristianesimo aquileiese prima di Costantino (Udine: Istituto Pio Paschini, 1999), 267–354.


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

egetes, Jerome cites Victorinus’s interpretations (e. g., Comm. Eccl. 4:13; Comm. Ezech. 26) but considers him tainted by the opinions of Chiliasts or Millenarians.63 He does, nevertheless, include Victorinus in his catalogue of ecclesiastical writers (Vir. ill. 74). As noted, Armstrong is not the first person to hold this position. Seven individual parallels with the Fragment suggest to Harnack that Victorinus knows and uses the Fragment. Harnack writes: “Man darf daher mit einer erheblichen Wahrscheinlichkeit behaupten, daß Viktorin das Muratorische Fragment selbst und als lateinisches Schriftstück benutzt.”64 Building on Harnack, Armstrong’s argument is threefold. First, he finds more parallels for the Fragment in Victorinus’s writings than anywhere else. Second, he believes Victorinan authorship explains a few inexplicable façets of the text; and, third, ancient writers whom Armstrong regards as dependent upon the Fragment can be connected to Victorinus (i. e., Chromatius of Aquileia, Isidore of Seville, and Jerome).65 Each of these positions needs to be explored a little further. Armstrong begins his discussion with a treatment of the Johannine legend.66 He points to three attestations of this legend: (1) Clement of Alexandria apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6.14.7; (2) Victorinus, Comm. Apoc. 11.1; and (3) Jerome, Vir. ill. 9. These sections of text are as follows: (1) Clement of Alexandria apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6.14.7: τὸν μέντοι Ἰωάννην ἔσχατον, συνιδόντα ὅτι τὰ σωματικὰ ἐν τοῖς εὐαγγελίοις δεδήλωται, προτραπέντα ὑπὸ τῶν γνωρίμων, πνεύματι θεοφορηθέντα πνευματικὸν ποιῆσαι εὐαγγέλιον. τοσαῦτα ὁ Κλήμης.67 (2) Victorinus, Comm. Apoc. 11.1 Cum enim essent Valentinus et Cerinthus, et Ebion, et ceteri scholae satanae diffusi per orbem, convenerunt ad illum de finitimis provinciis omnes episcopi, et compulerunt eum, ut et ipse testimonium conscriberet.68 63  The apocalypse commentary is edited in Gryson, Opera, by Victorinus of Pettau, 105–291 and in Haussleiter, Opera, by Victorinus of Pettau, with the original by Victorinus and versions by Jerome on adjacent pages. See also E. Ann Matter, “The Apocalypse in Early Medieval Exegesis,” in The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages, ed. Bernard McGinn and Richard K. Emmerson (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), 38–50, esp. 38–40. According to Matter, Jerome created multiple versions of Victorinus’s commentary. 64  Harnack, “Über den Verfasser,” 11–12 (“Therefore, it may be said with considerable probability that Victorinus uses the Muratorian fragment itself, and as a Latin document”). 65  Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 4–5. 66  Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 5–8. 67 “But that John, last of all, conscious that the outward facts had been set forth in the Gospels, was urged on by his disciples, and, divinely moved by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel. This is Clement’s account” (LCL; trans. J. E. L. Oulton). 68  PL 5:333–34. “For when Valentinus, and Cerinthus, and Ebion, and others of the school of Satan, were scattered abroad throughout the world, there assembled together to him from the neighboring provinces all the bishops, and compelled him himself also to draw up his testimony” (ANF 7:353–54; trans. Wallis). Note use of conscribo (MF ll. 6, 75, 83). Cf. also sweet-

B. The Fragment’s Language


(3) Jerome, Vir. ill. 9.1 Joannes Apostolus, quem Jesus amavit plurimum, filius Zebedaei, frater Jacobi apostoli, quem Herodes post passionem Domini decollavit, novissimus omnium scripsit Evangelium, rogatus ab Asiae episcopis (ἔσχατος πάντων ἔγραψεν εὐαγγέλιον παρακληθεὶς παρὰ τῶν τῆς Ἀσίας Ἐπισκόπων), adversus Cerinthum, aliosque haereticos, et maxime tunc Ebionitarum dogma consurgens, qui asserunt Christum ante Mariam non fuisse.69

In an unpublished review of Armstrong’s essay, Geoffrey M. Hahneman notes that Jerome (Comm. Matt., praef., ll. 39–55) provides a fourth example, citing an “ecclesiastica historia” in which “ fratres come together to urge John to write the Gospel.”70 According to Hahneman, “The course of this ‘ecclesiastica historia’ is not certain, but it suggests a direct literary connection with the Fragment as the Fragmentist and the source of this ‘ecclesiastica historia’ alone mention a fast as preceding the revelation of John’s Gospel.”71 The question thus becomes the chronology of the five versions attesting this legend – (1) Muratorian Fragment; (2) Clement of Alexandria apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6.14.7; (3) Victorinus, Comm. Apoc. 11.1; (4) Jerome, Vir. ill. 9;72 (5) ecclesiastica historia – the version to which the Muratorian Fragment bears closest resemblance. If amplification and refinement imply chronological development (as they often do), then simple references to those urging John to write his gospel in Clement (γνώριμος) and the ecclesiastica historia (fratres)73 appear to predate Victorinus, who, using a more ornate formulation, specifies that they are “bishops from the neighboring cities assembled” (convenerunt ad illum de finitimis civitatibus episcopi, Comm. Apoc. 11.1). Victorinus, in turn, predates Jerome, who characterizes those with John, with the even more embellished phrase, as “all the bishops of Asia then living, and by deputations from many churches.”74 Although the Fragment and Victorinus both refer to episcopi (fratres does not appear in the Fragment at all), the Fragment’s expression (condiscipulis et episcopis suis) is closer to Jerome’s citation of the obscure Ecclesiastical History (with fratres) than Victorinus’s plain episcopi. bitter motif in Comm. Apoc. 10.10. In Jerome’s version of Victorinus, one of the traditions adds a comparison to honey (ed. Gryson, 203, ll. 106–7; ed. Haussleiter, 93, l. 11). 69 PL 23:623. “John, the apostle whom Jesus loved the most, son of Zebedee, and brother of James, the apostle whom Herod, after our Lord’s passion, beheaded, most recently of all, at the request of the bishops of Asia, wrote a Gospel against Cerinthus and other heretics” (NPNF2 3:364; trans. T. Halton). 70 “Victorinus,” 2. Charles E. Hill, “What Papias Said About John (and Luke): A New Papian Fragment,” JTS 49 (1998): 582–629. 71  “Victorinus,” 2. 72 Jerome, Vir. ill. 9: rogatus ab Asiae episcopis. 73  In the Praef. Comm. in Matt. initially Jerome refers to those with John as compulsus est ab omnibus pene tunc Asiae episcopis, et multarum Ecclesiarum legationibus, after which he cites the Ecclesiastical History referring to the group as fratres. 74  Hahneman, “Victorinus,” 2–3.


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

Next Armstrong observes that both Victorinus and the Fragment present a regula fidei following the Johannine legend, although he submits that the two versions are different.75 He also discusses similarities in their presentations of the two advents, the four gospels, and Pauline epistles. Hahneman responds that this literary dependence is slight, especially in light of Armstrong’s strong claim that the two texts were written by the same author.76 Concerning the two advents, Hahneman writes: In the different descriptions of the two Advents, there is surprisingly no common vocabulary except for primo, though they follow the same obvious structure, viz., naming the first Advent before the second. Fragment: de gemino eius adventus, primo in humilitate despectus, quod fuit secondo in potestate regali praeclaro, quod futurum est (ll. 24–26) Victorinus: qui primo in suscepto homine uenit occultus, post paululum in maiestate et gloria ueniet ad iudicandum manifestus.77

Hahneman also shows that the prevailing commonality Armstrong claims between Victorinus and the Fragment on the four Gospels and Paul’s letters falters on a much closer relationship between the Fragment and Jerome, especially their mutual dismissal of the Latin Epistle to the Laodiceans.78 Concerning the Fraternity Legend, Armstrong relies on Marta Müller’s argument – based on similarities to Victorinus’s Commentarius in Apocalypsin – that Victorinus composed the Carmen adversus Marcionitas, one of only three known references to this legend.79 It is, however, unknown whether Victorinus wrote the Carmen or whether another writer used Victorinus’s commentary to compose it.80 Based on the Carmen’s division of Anacletus into two individuals (i. e., Cletus and Anacletus) in the lists of bishops and similarities with the Liberian Catalogue (a third known reference to the Fraternity legend), Hahneman concludes: “There is a definite literary connection here between the Carmen and the Liberian Catalogue, and between both of these [texts] and the Fragment.”81 What has not been determined, however, is the direction of reliance. If we again apply the principle of amplification and refinement to infer chronological development, the Fragment’s embellishment of this legend – that Hermas, brother of Pius, wrote the Shepherd while his brother was bishop and 75  Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 9–10. Chromatius, Tract. Mat. records authorial legends, 1 John 1, and a related regula fidei (see Chapter 5). 76 Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 11–13. 77  “Victorinus,” 3. 78  “Victorinus,” 17. See Jerome, Vir. ill. 5 and MF ll. 63–65. 79  Marta Müller, Untersuchungen zum Carmen adversus Marcionitas (Ochsenfurt am Main: Fritz und Rappert, 1936), 38–56. 80  So Martine Dulaey, “La thèse traditionnelle était alors que Victorin dépendait du poète,” in eadem, Sur l’Apocalypse, 2:22. 81  Hahneman, “Victorinus,” 6.

B. The Fragment’s Language


that the Shepherd ought thus to be read aloud and published for the people of the church, but “neither among the prophets … nor among the apostles” (ll. 73– 80) – suggests it postdates the other two sources.82 Armstrong then attempts to link substantival use of catholica in l. 69 of the Fragment to Victorinus’s single substantival use of the same word in Comm. Apoc. 1.7, but a thorough examination of the context83 suggests that the Fragment intends catholica ecclesia (whether or not one accepts Katz’s hypothesis concerning a Greek Urtext).84 Thus, its usage is not substantival.85 With respect to authorship of the Wisdom of Solomon (ll. 69–71) Armstrong opts for the fragile argument that Victorinus knew Hippolytus’s claim that the “friends” of Hezekiah (Prov 25:1) composed all of Solomon’s writings over the much more robust argument that the Fragmentist refers to “Philo”  – an opinion Jerome notes.86 In addition, Armstrong argues that acceptance of the Apocalypse of Peter is one of the most compelling cases for Victorinan authorship. Hahneman points out, however, that this text is widely attested. It is listed, for example, in the Codex Claromontanus and cited or alluded to by Clement of Alexandria (Ecl. 41.1, 2; 48.1; 49), Theophilus of Antioch (Autol. 2.19), Macarius Magnes (Apocriticus 4.6, 16), not to mention various apocryphal texts including Epistle of the Apostles, Sibylline Oracles, Acts of Paul, Acts of Thomas, and the Apocalypse of Paul. Armstrong attempts to bolster this case by citing Victorinan authorship of the anonymous Parable of the Ten Virgins (in which the Apocalypse of Peter is cited as authoritative utilizing the formula scriptum est, ll. 58–59). Yet the Fragment expresses disagreement over public reading of the Apocalypse of Peter, a problem acknowledged by Sozomen (Hist. 7.19).87 Amplifying Victorinus’s dossier further, Armstrong (following Jerome, Vir. ill. 74.2) next attributes Pseudo-Tertullian’s Adversus omnes haereses  – a text Victorinus is thought to have translated into Latin – to him.88 The work’s connection to the Fragment is based on the occurrence in both texts of the word “Cataphrygians” for the Montanists.89 However, Hahneman points out that the 82 Hahneman,

“Victorinus,” 23–25. (ll. 61–62, 66) the Fragment records catholica with ecclesia. The Benedictine Prologues (ll. 31, 39–40) suggest that the two uses of ecclesia without catholica in the Fragment (ll. 56, 66) are defective. See discussion in Els Rose, ed., Missale Gothicum e codice Vaticano Reginensi latino 317 editum, CCSL 159D (Turnhout: Brepols, 2005), 165. 84  See Chapter 6 below. 85  Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 8–9. 86  Hahneman, “Victorinus,” 6. Tregelles writes, “After many years’ study of the earlier Fathers, and much investigation of the subject of the canon of the Old and New Testaments, and the reception of the Apocrypha, I cannot find this authorship of the book of Wisdom mentioned by any writer anterior to Jerome” (Canon Muratorianus, 53). Tregelles thus concludes that Jerome knew the Fragment. See further p. 276. 87  Hahneman, “Victorinus,” 10–11. 88  Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 28. 89  Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 28–30. 83 Twice


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

Adv. om. haer. reads: qui dicuntur secundum Phrygas, whereas the Fragment uses the word, catafrycum (ll. 84–85; cf. BP ll. 36–37). Cyprian uses “Cataphrygians” (Ep. 75.7) as does the Acts of Achatius (4.8), but even the conjectured Greek original of the Adversus Haereses probably did not record κατὰ Φρύγας because, as Hahneman observes, “similar Greek phrases in the same paragraph are transliterated into Latin (i. e., kata Proclum and kata Aeschinem), whereas Phrygians was not.”90 Hahneman summarizes the issues: Athanasius used the redundant phrase κατὰ Φρύγας ἀπὸ Φρυγίας in his Orationes contra Arianos (1.3). Cyril of Jerusalem and Epiphanius employed the more simple contraction Κατάφρυγας (Catech. 16.8; Ancoratus 1.2.2 respectively). If the Fragment was originally written in Greek, and catafrigum in the text was a simple transliteration as suggested was done elsewhere, and the Fragment was thought to be fourth century in origin, the Greek Κατάφρυγων in the archetype would be unremarkable, and certainly not tied to Victorinus.91

Armstrong concludes his essay with the oft-repeated condemnation of the Fragmentist’s Latinity: In as far as the copious errors found within the Fragment are probably not entirely the fault of the copyist but at least partially attributable to the primary author, one would conclude that the Fragment was penned by a notably poor Latinist.92

Hahneman concludes that literary parallels between the Fragment and Jerome are closer than those with Victorinus, leaving open the direction of reliance. For Hahneman, the most telling “oddities” of the Fragment find parallels in sources much later than Victorinus, such as the inclusion of Wisdom in the NT (cf. Epiphanius), the eastern order of the four gospels, the expanded title, “Acts of All the Apostles” (cf. Cyril of Jerusalem), rejection of the Epistle to the Laodiceans (cf. Jerome), the report concerning the public reading of the Revelation of Peter (cf. Sozomen), the private reading of the Shepherd (cf. Athanasius), reference to a Montanist Miltiades (cf. Eusebius), use of the expression, Cataphrygians (cf. Athanasius), and the new Marcionite psalm book (cf. Maruthas, bishop of Maiperqaṭ ca. 400).93 Hahneman concludes: That the Fragment contains parallels of a few earlier traditions (e. g., Victorinus) does not preclude a later date for its origins, but that the Fragment contains numerous parallels with later traditions (e. g., Jerome) does preclude an earlier one.94  “Victorinus,” 12. Contrast Verheyden, “Canon Muratori,” 550.  “Victorinus,” 12. Hahneman argues similarly in Muratorian Fragment, 211–13. Hill debates the point posing a few other possibilities in his Review of Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 441–42. 92  Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 4. 93  Sebastian P. Brock, “Maruthas,” BNP, consulted online on July 20, 2020, http://dx.doi. org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e725580. 94  “Victorinus,” 15. 90 91

B. The Fragment’s Language


In addition to Hahneman’s arguments against Armstrong (above), a few additional points may be offered. First, as Zahn notes, Victorinus never cites the Fragment.95 It is not mentioned in any undisputed work of Victorinus. Does this constitute additional evidence that he wrote it (i. e., why would he cite his own work)? Neither is the Fragment mentioned by Jerome (frequently reliant on Victorinus) nor does Jerome ascribe it to him. Others have asked what explains Eusebius’s silence concerning the Fragment. Indeed, what explains Jerome’s silence? Second, although Victorinus attests the Fragment’s periodization of history, his division between apostolic and post-apostolic was widespread by the middle of the third century.96 Third, the fraught Pius-Hermas tradition is unlikely to have been persuasive in an erudite mid-third-century context such as Victorinus’s. Finally, Armstrong endorses Sundberg’s periodic dating to make Victorinan authorship possible,97 but fails to acknowledge Campos’s study of the spelling (copyist), syntax (copyist), and vocabulary (archetype) locating the Latin of the Fragment “well into the fifth century.”98 Greek Translation As noted above, scholars beginning with Muratori and including B. F. Westcott, A. Hilgenfeld, Theodor Zahn, and J. B. Lightfoot have conjectured that a Greek original lay behind the Fragment. Most observe parallel Greek idioms as conclusive evidence. The following list by Westcott is representative: 1. iuris studiosum = τοῦ δικαίου ζηλωτήν (l. 4) 2. Dominum tamen nec ipse vidit in carne, et idem prout assequi potuit ita et a nativitate &c. (ll. 6–8) 3. Johannes ex discipulis (l. 9) 4. principia, principalis = ἀρχαί, ἀρχαῖος (Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. 5.21.1) (l. 17) 5. nihil differt credentium fidei (ll. 18–19) 6. et Johannes enim (l. 57) 7. fertur = φέρεται (l. 63) 8. recipi non potest = οὐ δυνατόν ἐστι (ll. 66–67) 9. ad haeresim Marcionis99 (l. 65)

To this list, Campos adds: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Lucas iste = οὕτος (l. 3) ex opinione = ἐξ ἀκοῆς (l. 6) in carne = ἐν τῇ σαρκί (l. 7) conieiunate = μετὰ νηστειῶν (l. 11) 95 Geschichte,

2:137. “Canon Muratori,” 678. 97  “Victorinus of Pettau,” 23–24. 98 Campos, “Epoca,” 496 (cited above). 99  General Survey of the History of the Canon, 193 n. 3. 96 Ferguson,


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

5. differt credentium fidei = διαφέρω + genitive (ll. 18–19) (cf. Westcott #5) 6. principali spiritu = πνεύματι ἡγεμονικῷ (l. 19) 7. in semeipsu = ἐν ἑαυτῷ or αὐτῷ100 (l. 29) 8. sub uno libro = ὑπό + (l. 35; cf. sub praesentia eius, l. 36) 9. prolexius = ἐκτονέστερον (l. 46) 10. sanctificatae = ἁγιάζω (l. 63)

Christophe Guignard has written the most recent study addressing this topic. Accepting at face value the Fragment’s internal dating to the second century (i. e., rejecting Sundberg’s ‘periodic’ hypothesis)101 and agreeing with Campos that the Latin suggests the end of the fourth century (terminus a quo), Guignard argues for a Greek original.102 He disputes Armstrong’s Victorinan authorship not because it dismisses a Greek original but because Victorinus’s Latin text would have originated a century too early for Campos’s fourth-century (earliest) hypothesis.103 Guignard further regards Armstrong’s case as unconvincing on the basis of the same three observations that led earlier scholarship to dismiss Hippolytean authorship:104 (1) absence of Hebrews in the Fragment (contrast Victorinus’s assumption of its canonicity);105 (2) the Fragmentist’s view that Paul modeled his seven-letter corpus after Revelation’s seven letters (Rev 2–3), thus implying that Revelation was composed during the reign of Gaius Caligula (37– 41 ce) or Claudius (41–54 ce)106 (contrast Victorinus’s view in Comm. Apoc. 10.3 that Revelation was composed during the reign of Domitian (81–96 ce); and, (3) difficulty imagining Victorinus (ca. 250–303 ce) referring to the Shepherd of Hermas as composed “very recently, in our times.” This final objection hinges  Campos, “Epoca,” 493.  He regards the second-century thesis as “widely restored” following Verheyden’s rebuttal of Sundberg et al. (“Original Language,” 598). See p. 62 (above). 102  Guignard summarizes his point: “Indeed, if one accepts both the traditional dating of around 200 and the composition of the Latin text around 400, it necessarily follows that there was a Greek original” (“Original Language,” 599). However, the latter point does not necessarily follow. Guignard cites Verheyden for the claim that Harnack’s argument for a Latin original is now “largely abandoned” (598; citing Verheyden, “Canon Muratori,” 492). Guignard is correct that Campos sets “the last years of the fourth century as a terminus a quo” (598–99). Campos writes: “Esto quiere decir que el autor del texto del Fragmentum en los vocablos citados y en otros bíblicos siguió a S. Jerónimo autor de la Vulgata Latina, y por tanto la consecuencia lógica nos lleva a concluir que el texto latino del Fragmentum Muratorianum no pudo escribirse antes del ultimo trienio del siglo IV” (494–95). That is, however, Campos’s penultimate conclusion. After reviewing evidence for a Greek original, Campos finally concludes: “El autor de Fragmentum revela conocer muy bien la Vulgata, y prefiere en su traducción el texto jeronimiano al de las versiones antiguas; y puesto que el contenido parece indicar como lugar de origen la misma Roma, no puede adelantarse la época de nuestro documento antes de bien entrado el siglo V, cuando se iba adoptando la versión Latina del solitario de Belén en la iglesia romana” (496, emphasis added). 103 “Original Language,” 600. 104  “Original Language,” 600. 105  Dulaey, Sur l’Apocalypse, 1:74. 106  This presumes that the Fragmentist knew the date of Paul’s letters. 100 101

B. The Fragment’s Language


on Guignard’s rejection (and Armstrong’s acceptance) of Sundberg’s periodic dating.107 Guignard’s aim is to accept (with some qualifications) Campos’s claim that the Latin text is from the fourth or fifth century, reject Sundberg’s thesis that the Fragment originated in the fourth century, and establish that the present Latin Fragment had a Greek forerunner in the second century. For the initial point, he turns to the arguments of Lemarié and Kaestli that Chromatius of Aquileia (d. 406/407) cites the Fragment in Tractatus in Matthaeum.108 While I will examine the witness of Chromatius in detail in a subsequent section, important verbal and thematic similarities between the Fragment and the prologue to Chromatius’s Tract. Mat. raise the possibility of dependence or, in any case, a relationship. Lemarié accepts Sundberg’s fourth-century date of the Fragment, ruling out the possibility that Victorinus was Chromatius’s direct source and intermediary for the Fragment (which would then predate Victorinus).109 Guignard agrees with Lemarié that Chromatius relies directly on the Fragment in its Greek version, but rejects Sundberg and thus believes the Fragment can and does predate Victorinus.110 For Guignard, Chromatius’s reliance on the Fragment is established by their mutual acceptance of the seven-letter corpus tradition (i. e., Paul modeled his corpus on Revelation 2–3).111 He demonstrates the latter point with a brief linguistic comparison of Victorinus’s Comm. Apoc. and the Fragment.112 Septem autem ecclesiae, quas nominatim uocabulis suis uocat, ad quas epistolas facit, non quia illae solae ecclesiae aut principes, sed quia quod uni dicit, omnibus dicit; nihil enim differet, utrum quis uexillationi, paucorum militum numero, an per eam toto exercitu loquatur. Denique, siue in Asia siue in toto orbe, septem ecclesias omnes et septem nominatas unam esse catholicam Paulus docuit. Primum quidem ut seruaret et ipsum, septem ecclesiarum non excessit numerum, sed scripsit ad Romanos, ad Corinthios, ad Ephesios, ad Tessalonicenses, ad Galatas, ad Philippenses, ad Colossenses; postea singularibus personis scripsit, ne excederet numerum septem ecclesiarum, et in breui contrahens praedicationem suam ait ad Timotheum: Ut scias qualiter debeas conuersari in aede Dei aut quae sit ecclesia uiui Dei. (Victorinus, Comm. Apoc. 1.7)

107 Guignard,

“Original Language,” 600 n. 20; Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 23–24.  Lemarié, “Saint Chromace d’Aquilée,” 102; Kaestli, “La place du Fragment de Muratori,” 630–34. These arguments are treated in their own right in Chapter 5. 109  “Original Language,” 602. 110  “Original Language,” 601. 111 For my examination of verbal parallels between the Fragment and Chromatius, Tract. Mat., see Chapter 5. 112 Ed. Gryson, 122–27; ed. Haussleiter, 26–29. Harnack is convinced that Victorinus relied on the Fragment in Latin: “Man darf daher mit einer erheblihen Wahrscheinlichkeit behaupten, daß Viktorin das Muratorische Fragment selbst und als lateinisches Schriftstück benutzt” (“Über den Verfasser,” 11–12). Guignard (“Original Language,” 602) cites Dulaey’s edition, Sur l’Apocalypse, 15. 108


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

[There are] seven churches, which he calls expressly by their own names, to which he wrote letters, not because these are the sole or principal churches, but because what he says to one, he says to all. It makes no difference whether one addresses a military troop, a small number of soldiers or, through the troop, the whole army. Finally, Paul taught that whether in Asia or in the whole world, there were seven in all, and that, though sevenfold, they were identified as one catholic church. Indeed, at first, so that he might pre­ serve this very number, he did not exceed the number of seven churches, but wrote to the Romans, to the Corinthians, to the Ephesians, to the Thessalonians, to the Galatians, to the Philippians, and to the Colossians. Afterwards, he wrote to individual people, so that he would not exceed the number of seven churches, and keeping his own preaching brief, he says to Timothy [i. e., 1 Tim 3:15]: so that you will know how you must behave in the house of God, which is the church of the living God.113

Dismissing septem ecclesiae and scribere as quotidian, Guignard points to three expressions Victorinus’s excerpt holds in common with the Fragment ll. 46–63 (bold above): nominatim, omnibus dicit and in toto orbe (MF l. 56, per omnem orbem terrae). About these examples, he concludes that they “confirm the existence of a literary relationship, but they are certainly not sufficiently specific to prove that one of the two texts depends on the other.”114 Rather, according to Guignard, the evidence suggests two independent Latin translations of either the same or similar Greek originals.115 In addition, Guignard argues that Victorinus has the Greek text of the Fragment (contra Harnack) but Chromatius   For the translation, I consulted​2​6​0​_​v​i​c​t​o​r​i​n​u​s​_​a​p​o​c​ a​ly​ p ​ ​s​e​/; accessed on June 8, 2019. 114  Guignard, “Original Language,” 603. 115  Guigard interprets each parallel in terms of a Greek original. (1) “Nominatim would be a natural translation of κατ’ ὄνομα or ὀνομαστί”; (2) “omnibus dicit” could represent πᾶσι λέγει in both texts”; (3) “the Fragment’s phrase per omnem orbem terrae does not seem to be attested elsewhere, but per orbem terrae frequently appears in texts translated from Greek, even if it does not always correspond to the same Greek expression” (“Original Language,” 603–4). Guignard’s comment that words and phrases often appear in Latin translations from Greek originals but without precise correspondence reflects the problem at the heart of every attempt to demonstrate a Greek original (see above). We can examine one of Guignard’s examples more closely. The typical Latin expression for “globe” or “earth” is orbis terrarum, and in fact it does appear with per omnem without having to posit a Greek model. Augustine, for instance, writes of a trumpet sonuit per omnem orbem terrarum (Enarrat. Ps. 132.2.2; Franco Gori, ed., Enarrationes in Psalmos 119–133, by Augustinus, CSEL 95.3 [Berlin: De Gruyter, 2001], 319–329 [see critical apparatus]). In a phrase of striking similarity to the MF (per omnem orbem terrae ecclesia diffusa esse dinoscitur), an early anonymous Psalms commentary that integrates prior remarks from Jerome says of Ps 21:26 (Apud te laus mea in ecclesia magna): quae [=ecclesia] per omnem orbem terrarum credulitate diffusa est (PL 26:883C). The less traditional expression orbis terrae is, as it turns out, also quite common in late patristic and medieval literature. It undoubtedly takes its authority from its appearance in Pss 9:9; 88:12; 92:1; 95:13. Cassiodorus’s comment on the phrase in Ps 92:1 (firmavit orbem terrae) at once glosses the orbem terrae as the church, the same theme that the MF addresses: Firmavit enim orbem terrae, id est Ecclesiam (Exp. Ps. 92.1; M. Adriaen, ed., Expositio Psalmorum, by Cassiodorus, CCSL 97–98 [Turnhout: Brepols, 1958], 2:844, ll. 69–70). The whole phrase is, therefore, not necessarily warranted by a Greek model, whereas the Latin precedents are sufficient and authoritative. 113

B. The Fragment’s Language


(d. 406/7 ce) provides the first external witness to the text of the Fragment in Latin.116 Excursus: Victorinus, Comm. Apoc. 1.7 and the Muratorian Fragment Whereas Guignard aims to qualify similarities between Victorinus’s passage in the commentary on Revelation and the Muratorian Fragment, J. J. Armstrong argues that the parallels suggest Victorinus wrote it. The argument is worth pausing to explore. Table 1 aims to assist the comparison. Table 1. Victorinus, Comm. Apoc. 1.7 and MF ll. 46–63 Victorinus, Comm. Apoc. 1.7

Muratorian Fragment ll. 46–63

Septem autem ecclesiae, quas nominatim uocabulis suis uocat, ad quas epistolas facit, non quia illae solae ecclesiae aut principes, sed quia quod uni dicit omnibus dicit; nihil enim differt utrum quis uexillationi, paucorum militum numero, an per eam toto exercitui loquatur. Denique, siue in Asia siue in toto orbe, septem ecclesias omnes; et septenatim nominatas unam esse catholicam Paulus docuit. Primum quidem ut seruaret et ipsum, septem ecclesiarum non excessit numerum, sed scripsit ad Romanos, ad Corinthios, ad Ephesios, ad Tessalonicenses, ad Galatas, ad Philippenses, ad Colossenses; postea singularibus personis scripsit, ne excederet numerum septem ecclesiarum, et in breui contrahens praedicationem suam ait ad Timotheum: Ut scias qualiter debeas conuersari in aede Dei aut quae sit ecclesia uiui Dei.

46 de quibus singulis neces47 se est a nobis disputari cum ipse beatus 48 apostolus Paulus sequens prodecessoris sui 49 Iohannis ordinem nonnisi nominatim septem 50 ecclesiis scribat ordine tali: ad Corinthios 51 prima, ad Ephesios secunda, ad Philip­pen­ ses ter52 tia, ad Colossenses quarta, ad Galatas quin53 ta, ad Thessaolonicenses sexta, ad Romanos 54 septima. verum Corinthiis et Thessalonicen55 sibus licet pro correptione iteretur, una 56 tamen per omnem orbem terrae ecclesia 57 diffusa esse dinoscitur. et Iohannes enim in a58 pocalypsi licet septem ecclesiis scribat, 59 tamen omnibus dicit. verum ad Philemonem unam 60 et ad Titum unam et ad Timotheum duas pro affec61 tu et dilectione. in honorem tamen ecclesiae ca62 tholicae in ordinationem ecclesiasticae 63 disciplinae sanctificatae sunt.

In his discussion of the seven stars of John’s vision (Rev 1:20), Victorinus conveys that John’s seven letters to churches in Asia (Rev 2–3) do not represent the sum total of churches in Asia, but the totality of all churches. This principle, he says, conforms to a

116 For Guignard, Victorinus translates the Greek text in his own writing (“Original Language,” 604). Guignard assumes Chromatius’s reliance on the Fragment based on the arguments of Lemarié and Kaestli, noting the occurrence of doceantur in both texts as “strange” and “particularly convincing” (604). If, he says, we accept the hypothesis of a Greek original, then the “many precise [verbal] overlaps” “leave no doubt about the fact that Chromatius had access to the same Latin text as we do” (604).


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

teaching by Paul. Victorinus does not cite Paul’s teaching but regards it, nonetheless, as a precedent for John. The Fragment, on the other hand, argues just the opposite. It emphasizes (ll. 49, 58) that Paul’s seven letters to churches correspond to John, his predecessor (ll. 48–49). What is held in common between the two reports is that both Paul and John wrote to seven churches and that seven represents a totality – the latter idea (stated by Tyconius, Reg. 5.4.1–2) being far more ubiquitous than that of “seven churches” dismissed by Guignard as not independently cogent.117 In addition, the enumeration of Paul’s letters is different in the two passages: Victorinus begins with Romans and the Fragment ends with it. The Fragment acknowledges second letters to the Corinthians and Thessalonians; Victorinus does not. And, whereas Victorinus concludes that Paul also wrote unspecified individual letters, the Fragment specifies four (ll. 59–60). Victorinus closes by citing 1 Tim 3:15. The Fragment concludes this section with a statement about the consecration of these letters by the catholic church. The substantial commonality – the reference to seven Johannine and Pauline letters – is an idea present in Hippolytus of Rome (apud Dionysius bar Salibi), Cyprian of Carthage, and Jerome.118 Such differences hardly support the hypothesis of a single author of both texts.

To further hone the terminus post quem of the Fragment, Guignard turns to a linguistic analysis. Taking Campos as a starting point, he reviews the evidence. Bypassing orthographical changes between Late Latin and the Romance languages as unreliable for dating,119 he discusses conuersatio (l. 22) and per ordinem120 as indicating a post-classical date. In his view, alterutrum (l. 12) and principali spiritu (l. 19) suggest reliance on Old Latin versions of the Bible. In semetipsu (l. 29) also belongs in this category.121 Words or phrases appearing first in the fourth century include: doceantur (l. 18),122 visorem (l. 32), intimans

117 Jean-Marc Vercruysse, trans., Le Livre des Règles, by Tyconius, SC 488 (Paris: Cerf, 2004),


118 See discussion in Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 13–17 (citing T. H. Robinson, “The Authorship of the Muratorian Canon,” The Expositor 7.1 [1906]: 481–95). He begins by separating seven and fourteen letter traditions emphasizing that only four authors – Hippolytus, Cyprian, Victorinus, and Jerome  – share the seven-church tradition. He then emphasizes similarities between the Fragment and Victorinus’s passage over against Hippolytus, Cyprian, and Jerome, even speculating a genealogical relationship among the four witnesses. He fails, however, to acknowledge the differences noted above. He also undermines his argument slightly by concluding that Jerome possesses both the seven- and the fourteen-letter traditions (17). 119  Guignard, “Original Language,” 605. See also Campos, “Epoca,” (summarized by Hahne­ man, Muratorian Fragment, 11–12). Philippe Henne concludes that the Ambrosian Fragment adjacent to the Fragment in the Muratorian Codex reflects a provenance in northern Gaul (“Le Canon de Muratori: Orthographe et datation,” Archivium Bobiense 12–13 [1990–91], 289–304). Guignard rejects Henne’s conclusion as based on “weak evidence” (605 n. 34). 120 Guignard cites the evidence of Campos with comments and minor modifications (“Original Language,” 605). 121  Guignard, “Original Language,” 606. 122 This common word certainly appears prior to the fourth century, but this usage does not; see Guignard, “Original Language,” 604, 619–20.

B. The Fragment’s Language


(l. 45), prodecessoris (l. 48),123 sub uno libro (l. 35), and sub praesentia (l. 36).124 Guignard rejects Campos’s claim that the Fragment is familiar with the Latin text of Jerome’s Vulgate,125 arguing (1) that the phrase per ordinem (occurring frequently in Jerome’s translation of the OT and in the Fragment at ll. 33–34) also occurs frequently “in authors who wrote before 392 such as Lactantius, Marius Victorinus, or Ambrosiaster”;126 and, (2) that Jerome likely borrowed palpaverunt in several citations of 1 John 1:1 (quoted at MF ll.  29–31) from a prior translation but, even if it was Jerome’s contribution, he was hardly the only one at the time who used it.127 Guignard concludes his argument with the four additional words or phrases not found before the middle of the fourth century: visorem, sub praesentia, intimans, and prodecessoris. Based on this review of the evidence, Guignard argues that Campos’s end of the fourth century date of the Latin archetype of the Fragment may be amended to the middle of the fourth century.128 Next, Guignard reevaluates previous arguments for a Greek original.129 He expresses special hesitation with regard to two “ingenious conjectures” supporting the hypothesis.130 The first is Tregelles’s suggestion that Wisdom was written by the friends of Solomon (l. 70),131 that is, that the Latin translator of the Greek original recorded ab amicis instead of a Philone because he confused Φίλωνος and φίλων. Jerome provides support for this reading in his acknowledgment of a tradition attributing Wisdom to Philo. William Horbury argues that “friends” derives from Prov 25:1 (LXX), in which “friends” (οἱ φίλοι) performed editorial activities for King Hezekiah of Judah. A line from a commentary on the Song of Songs attributed to Hippolytus applies Prov 25:1 to all of Solomon’s writings.132 Siding with Kaestli, who argues that Greek word order rules it out, Guignard regards the surmise as weak and excludes it from consideration.133  Guignard, “Original Language,” 606. “Original Language,” 607 (the last two examples are the author’s own). 125 “There are simply no grounds for following Campos on this point and for concluding that there is familiarity with the Vulgate” (Guignard, “Original Language,” 608). 126 Guignard, “Original Language,” 608. 127 Guignard, “Original Language,” 608. 128 Guignard, “Original Language,” 609. It is unclear why Guignard does not acknowledge Campos’s ultimate date of the middle of the fifth century. 129 “Probative” (in Guignard’s argument) implies convincing evidence. Other data is valued only “cumulatively” (i. e., once reliance on a Greek original is proven) (“Original Language,” 612 n. 73). An explanation of his method and logic would have been helpful given Guignard’s aspiration of scaling back the results of past experts including Zahn and Harnack (hardly methodological neophytes). He may regard “probative” evidence as independently cogent; if so, the point is unconvincing. 130 Guignard, “Original Language,” 609. 131  Tregelles, Canon Muratorianus, 53. Cf. Jerome, Prologus in libris Salomonis. 132  In Cant. (ANF 5:176; PG 10:629A). Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 26–27, esp. 27 n. 81. 133  Guignard, “Original Language,” 610. See too Kaestli, “La place du Fragment de Muratori,” 623, citing Zahn, Geschichte, 2:142: “Si je renounce à la retenir, c’est à cause de l’ordre des mots: 123

124 Guignard,


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

Second, Guignard expresses hesitation with regard to Peter Katz’s argument that Greek word order explains the unusual occurrence of catholica without ecclesia and the absence of 1 John from l. 69. Katz reasons that the Greek phrase δύο σὺν καθολικῇ is mistakenly transliterated (as opposed to translated) in the Fragment as dua sin catholica. Originally, it indicated “two letters in addition to [or “with”] the Catholic epistle” – an expression referring to 1 John.134 Guignard discusses Charles F. D. Moule’s critique of Katz’s argument that πρὸς καθολικήν is an “even more natural Greek for in addition to, and more easily translated in,”135 concluding about both Tregelles’s and Katz’s theories that they support rather than establish the case for a Greek original.136 Finally, turning to what he regards as the most convincing evidence of a Greek original, Guignard composes his own list of posited calques from Greek. Nearly every point restates evidence from the prior lists (e. g., Campos, Zahn, etc).137 He begins with fourteen examples from Campos and Zahn which, on his reading, have no individual “probative” value.138 1. quasi ut (l. 4) has Latin parallels. 2. ex opinione (l. 6) most likely translates ἐξ ἀκοῆς but might reflect biblical language or a corruption of ex ordine (corresponding to καθεξῆς in Luke 1:3). 3. in carne (l. 7) is common in Latin. 4. sub praesentia (l. 36) is sufficiently attested. 5. ex discipulis (l. 9) Although many examples in which e(x) has partitive value appear in texts translated from Greek, it might still be explained as gospel-inspired. 6. principali spiritu (l. 19) is taken from Ps 50:14 (although not in Jerome’s version as explained above). 7. quod (ll. 24, 26) seems more Greek but is not unthinkable in Latin. 8. in semetipsu (l. 29) Although frequent in translated texts (Irenaeus, Haer.), it could be Latin. si l’original grec avait eu καί ἡ Σοφία Σαλωμῶντος, ὑπὸ Φίλωνος εἰς τιμὴν αὐτοῦ συγγραφεῖσα cela devrait être rendu par ‘Sapientia ab amicis Salomonis … scripta.’” 134  Peter Katz, “The Johannine Epistles in the Muratorian Canon,” JTS 8 (1957): 273–74. Guignard, “Original Language,” 611. Katz argues that the Greek version had “two and the Catholic epistle” (δύο σὺν καθολικῇ) (“Johannine Epistles,” 273–74). Charles F. D. Moule offered an alternative: δύο πρὸς καθολικήν – “the Catholic epistle,” a common reference for 1 John, the Latin then transliterating rather than translating the phrase (The Birth of the New Testament, 3rd ed. [San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1982], 266 n. 2). Guignard (611 n. 70) mentions this argument but cites Moule’s volume (third British edition) incorrectly (“26 n. 2”). This argument is discussed at greater length in Chapter 6. 135 Guignard, “Original Language,” 611, citing Charles F. D. Moule, Birth of the New Testament, 3rd ed., BNTC (London: Black, 1981), 26 (sic), n. 2. 136  Guignard, “Original Language,” 611. 137  Zahn, Geschichte, 2:129 n. 1; Campos, “Epoca,” 495–96. 138  Guignard, “Original Language,” 612 n. 73.

B. The Fragment’s Language


9. sub uno libro (l. 35) probably ὑπὸ μίαν βίβλον, but a parallel in Palladius proves a Latin writer could write it. 10. eius rather than sua after sub praesentia (l. 36) appears to be a mechanical translation of ΑΥΤΟΥ but is attested in Latin writers. 11. superscriptus (l. 68) is equivalent to ἐπιγραμμένος.139 12. urbis Romae ecclesiae (l. 76) is uncommon but not unattested (e. g., Rufinus, Exp. Symb. 3.4). 13. idem (l. 7) is probably actually et ideo (and, thus, not a candidate for this argument). 14. se publicare (l. 77–78),140 if properly restored to publicari, eliminates this phrase as a candidate. Guignard accepts the following five examples as “probative”:141 1. alia plura quae in catholicam ecclesiam recipi non potest (ll. 65–67) based on the Greek rule of neuter plural subject with singular verb.142 2. ὁ (Greek) is the only reasonable explanation for iste in Lucas iste medicus (l. 3).143

139 The

proliferation of such adjectives is a well-known feature of late antique Latin.  Kuhn explains: “Zahn führt noch weitere Beweise derart an (S. 129, A. 1), die noch weniger etwas für sich beweisen. Ich erwähne nur, dass se publicare 77 statt publicari gesetzt sein soll, welchem griech. δημοσιεύεσθαι zu Grunde liege. Zahn 111 A. 1: ‘Ich würde nicht sagen dass dies eine Verwechslung des Passivs mit dem griechisch gleich lautenden Medium sei. Es ist vielmehr das werdende pubblicarsi des Italieners.’ Es läge also nicht ein Gräcismus vor, nur ein Beweis, dass der lat. Text eine sehr junge Uebersetzung eines alten griech. Originals ist. Doch ist die Setzung der Reflexivform für das Passiv fast in allen Sprachen (auch im Deutschen) wenigstens möglich. Auch das lat. und griech. Passiv sind im Grund Reflexivformen. Vgl. Comment. zur Stelle, § 19” (“Zahn adds further evidence in this regard [p. 129, A. 1], which proves even less. I only mention that se publicare 77 should be used instead of publicari, which is based on the Greek δημοσιεύεσθαι. Zahn 111 A. 1: ‘I would not say that this is a confusion of the passive with the middle in Greek. It is much more the pubblicarsi of the Italian.’ So, there would not be a Graecism, just a proof that the Latin text is a very recent translation of an ancient Greek original. But the setting of the reflexive form for the passive is at least possible in almost all languages (including German). Also, the Latin and Greek passive are basically reflexive forms. See Comment on § 19” [Kuhn, Das Muratorische Fragment, 20, referring to Zahn, Geschichte, 2:111–112 n. 1, 129 n. 1]). 141  Guignard “retains” these points, some of the argumentation “fine-tuned” (“Original Language,” 613); he rejects others as not individually “probative” (612 n. 73). 142  Guignard, “Original Language,” 613. However, Latin has its share of examples not traceable to Greek influence. It is poetic usage in Latin. J. H. Allen and J. B. Greenough, New Latin Grammar (Eastford, CT: Martino Fine Books, 2017 [11888]), 41 n. 2 (§ 101): “The poets often use the plural number for the singular, sometimes for metrical reasons, sometimes from a mere fashion: as, ōra (for ōs), the face; scēptra (for scēptrum), sceptre; silentia (for silentium), silence.” In prose it seems unusual. 143  Guignard, “Original Language,” 613–14. Observed by Zahn who translates Λουκᾶς ὁ ἰατρός (Geschichte, 2:21–22 and 2:140), cited by Kuhn, Das Muratorische Fragment, 39. Iste (emphatic) can describe a person’s name. 140


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

3. conieiunate (l. 8) (“fast with me”) is a hapax legomenon in Latin, but συννηστεύω is well attested in Greek.144 4. The construction nihil differt credentium fidei (l. 18) is not attested in Latin and appears (with Zahn, Campos et al.) to transpose Greek οὐδὲν διαφέφει τῇ τῶν πιστευόντων (or πιστῶν) πίστει.145 5. Mechanical transposition of τὸ κατὰ Λουκᾶν (omitting article) explains the otherwise anomalous tertium (-io) euangelii librum secundum (-do) Lucan (l. 2). Finally, Guignard regards the following phrases, not as proofs for a Greek original, but as explained by it: episcopis suis (l. 10), in omnibus omnia (l. 20), and the Greek forms Lucan (l. 2) (from a Latin biblical translation), and Spania (l. 39), which entered Latin in the fourth century at the latest.146 Guignard’s argument concludes with an interpretation of the letter “B” following deinceps in l. 43 of the Fragment. Tregelles thought it was a Greek numeral retained by the translator indicating that Galatians is the second of letters specified in the passage.147 Zahn agreed: Es wird, wie Tregelles p. 42 sah, ein aus dem griech. Original herübergenommenes Zahlzeichen sein: β’ = “zwei, zweitens, zweiter Brief.” Es mag ein im Originaltext oder am Rand desselben stehender Anfang der Bezifferung der Briefe oder auch ursprünglich ein dem πρῶτον I.42 entsprechendes, aber neben deinceps (εἶτα) mindestens überflüssiges, ausgeschriebenes δεύτερον gewesen sein.148 It is probably, as Tregelles (p. 42) observed, a numerical indicator taken over from the Greek original: β’ = “two, second, second letter.” It might have been the beginning of the enumeration of the letters, appearing in the original text or in the margin of it, or even originally the word δεύτερον, corresponding to πρῶτον (I.42), but when written out alongside deinceps (εἶτα) not less than redundant.

144 The TLG gives ten examples from the patristic period, beginning with Justin, Apol. 61.2 (Guignard, “Original Language,” 614). It is not certain, however, that the Fragment employs a hapax. According to Lewis and Short, jejuno reflects late Latin, exemplified by Jerome (Ep. 66.11 and 22.27) and Tertullian (Jejun. 3; Pud. 16; Anim. 6). The phrase containing this verb in Ep. 22.27, cum jejunas laeta sit facies tibi recalls Matt 6:17 [Vulgate]: tu autem cum ieiunas ungue caput tuum et faciem tuam lava. On fol. 10r (Ambr. I 101 sup.) in l. 11, conieiunate employs what is taken to be a lower-case ‘n’ in con closely resembling two of three minims of the letter ‘m,’ rather than the more typical three-stroke uncial ‘N’ (cf. cum uno in l. 19). In the line above, condescipulis (l. 10) employs the expected uncial (‘N’). On the same page in l. 22, the scribe leaves no space between the two words cum decipulus. Moreover, the first ‘i’ following the prefix (conieiunatis) is capitalized. This may suggest that the phrase cum descipulis was miscopied in l. 10 as condescipulis, necessitating modification of the verb ending (i. e., ieiunatis) and alleviating the hapax. Cf. Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 217, 544; Zahn, Geschichte, 2:35. 145  Zahn, Geschichte, 2:41 n. 1. Campos, “Epoca,” 496. 146  As this was Guignard’s bar for rejecting the arguments (“probative”), we may assume that Tregelles’s and Katz’s arguments do not meet his standard of persuasiveness. See argument above. 147  Canon Muratorianus, 42. 148 Zahn, Geschichte, 2:61 n. 1.

B. The Fragment’s Language


Similarly, Guignard argues that, because “Latin letters never serve as numerals in antique or medieval manuscripts,”149 it is a vestige of marginal numeration in a Greek manuscript.150 As evidence he offers the (possibly) contemporaneous Apostles in the Veronensis LI (49) in which the twelve apostles are numbered in the outer margins.151 Not only is this comparative data distant from early Christian corpora and lists of Paul’s letters, but the argument presumes that an early witness numbers Galatians second in the margin of a chronological list of Paul’s churches.152 It is true that Galatians is second in the Fragment’s list of three letters in ll. 42–45 (Corinthians, Galatians, Romans) and that primum (l. 42) and deinceps (l. 43) imply the numbering of texts in succession. It is also true that Galatians precedes Corinthians in the anonymous Marcionite Prologues, which perhaps originated with Marcion but are first witnessed by Marius Victorinus, although in this case, it is not second but first.153 Yet it remains to ask how Guignard explains the similar stray ‘B’ on the bottom of fol. 10r at the end and below the word scripsimus (l. 31) and the stray ‘D’ at the beginning of l. 7 on the same folio concerning Luke? Does the ‘D’ in l. 7 imply that Luke is the fourth gospel in an ancient list?154 A discussion of these stray letters is taken up at greater length below. Guignard concludes his article by dismissing as coincidence what some regard as the best argument for a Latin original – namely, the paronomasia of fel and

 Guignard, “Original Language,” 616.  Guignard, “Original Language,” 616. On the next pages in the codex in the Ambrosian fragments (fols. 11r–12r), both Roman numerals (e. g., “cccxviii,” “ccc”) and Greek letters (e. g., τ) appear, suggesting that the copyist of Ambr. I 101 sup. (if not the copyist of the archetype) had some familiarity with both. See Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 536–40. 151  Athous Vatopedinus 853 (10th c.), fols. 7r–10r and the Vaticanus gr. 1506 (an. 1024), fol. 78r– v. Guignard acknowledges that C. H. Turner (“A Primitive Edition of the Apostolic Constitutions and Canons: An Early List of Apostles and Disciples,” JTS 15 [1913–14], 63–65) does not reproduce the numerals in the Latin text, but collating them himself, he attests their presence (“Original Language,” 616 n. 89). 152 Galatians is fourth in most lists of the letters of the corpus paulinum (e. g., Athanasius, Origen, Irenaeus, Marcion). 153  The order in the Marcionite prologue is Galatians, Corinthians, Romans, Thessalonians, Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon (F. C. Burkitt, The Gospel History and its Transmission [Edinburgh: Clark, 1906], 319 n. 1). See Dirk Jongkind’s chapter entitled “On the Marcionite Prologues to the Letters of Paul,” in Studies on the Text of the New Testament and Early Christianity: Essays in Honour of Michael W. Holmes, ed. Daniel Gurtner, Juan Hernández Jr., and Paul Foster, New Testament Tools, Studies and Documents 50 (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 389–407, here: 392. 154 Notable exceptions are the stichometric list in Codex Claromontanus (ca. 400 ce?) which gives the order: Matthew, John, Mark, Luke; and the fifth-century Curetonian Syriac Version, with the order: Matthew, Mark, John, Luke. The order of the gospels in the majority of Greek manuscripts of the fourth to sixth centuries is: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John; while in Latin manuscripts the order is: Matthew, John, Luke, Mark (based on the superiority of apostles over disciples). Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 217. 149 150


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

mel in l. 67 (i. e., fel enim cum melle misceri non congruit).155 His conclusion is followed by four supplementary indices. The first argues that doceantur in MF l. 18 can only mean appareo (“to appear”) and thus translates δοκέω, the phonetic similarity explaining the unusual word choice.156 The second index argues that in semetipsu (MF l. 29) should be in semetipso translating καθ᾽ ἑαυτοῦ, εἰς ἑαυτόν, or ἐφ᾽ ἑαυτῷ.157 The third index outlines differences between the citation of 1 John 1:1, 4 (ll. 29–31) in the Greek text of NA28, the Fragment, and the Vulgate (Weber-Gryson5), including a helpful table.158 Here Guignard registers three differences: (1) in v. 1 hearing and seeing are reversed and (2) et auribus is added; and, (3)  in v. 4 scripsimus (perfect tense) corresponds to γράφομεν (present tense). He concludes that these “peculiarities” suggest not the use of an Old Latin but a Greek text.159 The fourth index argues that se publicare cannot be the correct reading. The text must have originally read legi eum quidem se, publicari vero … (copyist’s eye skipped from “p” in -paratim to “p” in publicari), implying that the Shepherd may be read publicly provided it is not “presented as belonging either to the OT prophets or to the apostolic writings.”160

Conclusion Ultimately, the hurdle that every attempt to hypothesize a Greek original to a Latin text faces is Latin’s reliance on Greek.161 The impasse is particularly steep in the case of manuscripts employing technical vocabulary including the translation of New Testament writings and other early Christian literature. That being said, Latin versions borrowed more than just technical vocabulary. Discussing the first Latin translations of the Bible, B. F. Westcott explains: “the exact literality of the Old version was not confined to the most minute observance of order and the accurate reflection of the words of the original: in many cases the

155 Guignard,

“Original Language,” 617. “Original Language,” 620. 157  Guignard, “Original Language,” 621. 158 Guignard, “Original Language,” 622. 159  Guignard, “Original Language,” 623. 160  Guignard, “Original Language,” 623. Guignard cites Riemer Roukema, “La tradition apostolique et le canon du Nouveau Testament,” in The Apostolic Age in Patristic Thought, ed. Antonius Hilhorst, SVigChr 70 (Leiden: Brill, 2004), 86–103, here: 97, who in turn cites Oscar De Gebhardt and Adolf Harnack, eds., Hermae Pastor Graece, Patrum Apostolicorum Opera 3 (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1877), xlvi–xlviii. Routh suggests the simpler emendation sed publicari uero (Reliquiae Sacrae, 1:430). Guignard includes this emendation but mistakenly traces it to the fourth rather than the first volume of Routh’s second edition (“Original Language,” 624). 161  Jerome, Ep. 57.5: ubi et verborum ordo mysterium est (“word-order” emphasizes the “mystery”). 156 Guignard,

B. The Fragment’s Language


very forms of Greek construction were retained in violation of Latin usage.”162 Greek style has affected theological Latin from its inception, meaning that even competent Latin stylists replicate, in certain ways, stylistic features of the Greek New Testament, veiling their possible reliance on a Greek original. Additionally, the Vulgate moved to an even more literal translation. According to E. V. Rieu, When the Gospels and the rest of the Bible came to be translated into Latin, we find St. Jerome practically inventing a Latin for the purpose, a Latin which is very charming, but differs enormously, even from the standard Latin of his day; still more, of course, from the Latin of Cicero. It comes to this: the translators of the Bible have been influenced, almost to the present day, by religious rather than literary considerations.163

Because more than half of Latin theological literature comments on and/or cites (originally) Greek versions of scripture and other ecclesiastical writings, no historical method, however stringent, can sift finely enough to detect a Greek Urtext from a specimen of Latin theological literature. The hypothesis of a Greek original of the Fragment does not falter on the quantity or quality of evidence; it falters at the level of factual verification. Such arguments fall victim to a kind of circular reasoning because the assumption that Greek texts (e. g., ecclesiastical writings and the NT) lie behind the proposed Latin text is proven. Subjective distinctions (e. g., Guignard’s “probative” or “cumulative”) for individual pieces of evidence demonstrate misplaced precision insofar as the hypothesis is proven prior to testing. Many Greek texts were translated into Latin beginning in the fourth century ce, yet many new Latin texts were also composed at this time. Ambr. I 101 sup. contains Latin texts translated from Greek, but it also contains texts composed in Latin. The Benedictine Prologues (discussed below), containing twenty-four parallel lines to the Fragment, are Latin texts with no known or even posited Greek originals.164 Parallels to other passages, such as the characterizations of Luke and John, the Fraternity legend and Rule of Faith, are known in Latin. While it is certainly incumbent upon scholars to address the question of a possible Greek Urtext for the Fragment, this question must remain a hypothesis until and unless further evidence is found. We close by formally endorsing the hypothesis of a Latin original and noting that any forged text pretending to be older than it was would probably feign the close translation of a Greek Urtext.

162 “The Vulgate,” in Dr. William Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, rev. ed. H. B. Hackett (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1881), 4:3451–82, here: 3453, emphasis added. See Michael Marlowe, “The Literal Character of the Vulgate,” consulted 9 September 2019, com/vulgate4.html. 163  E. V. Rieu, “Translating the Gospels: A Discussion Between Dr. E. V. Rieu and the Rev. J. B. Phillips,” The Bible Translator 6.4 (October 1955): 150–59, here: 153–54, emphasis added. 164  If the Fragment had not survived, would we look at the BPs and ask whether there was a Greek original behind them?


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

C. Medieval Manuscript Abbreviation Hypothesis Introduction As we have already seen, the Fragment’s rich cache of orthographical idiosyncrasies has not been overlooked by scholars.165 Muratori published the Fragment as an example of the neglect of Latin letters in the Middle Ages. His essay-title together with his description of the Fragment broadcasts evident disgust: “De Literarum Statu, neglectu, & cultura in Italia post Barbaros in eam invectos usque ad Annum Christi Millesimum Centesimum”: “Fragmentum acephalum Caii uti videtur presbyteri Romani, qui circiter annum Christi 196 floruit, de canone scripturarum sacrarum.”166 However, his delay in publishing the Fragment, combined with his obvious interest in it, may suggest, with Hesse, that he “disguised his theological interest under the semblance of one merely palaeographical.”167 E. A. Lowe, likewise, regards the Fragment’s orthography as “ungrammatical,” “horribly spelled,” and “barbaric”168 – a position repeated in virtually every publication on the Fragment since.169 Westcott’s comparison of the errors in the Am E. g., Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 22–25.  Antiquitates Italicae, 3:806–7 (unpaginated), 853–54 (“On the state, neglect and culture of literature in Italy following the barbarian invasion and up to a. d. 1100: a fragment without beginning, apparently of Gaius presbyter of Rome who flourished circa 196 ce, concerning the canon of sacred scripture”). 167  Citation of Hesse by Anonymous, review of Das Muratorische Fragment (by Hesse) and General Survey of the Canon (by Westcott), 216–17 with reference to Hesse, Das Muratorische Fragment, 2. Lacking Hebrews, James, 1, 2 Peter, at least, the Fragment does not reflect the canon of sacred scripture in Muratori’s day. The reviewer observes, “He put this morsel into his large work, professedly to show how carelessly the ignorant and unpractised transcribers of old times had dealt with early writings. But it was evident from the corrections he himself made that the Fragment had a deep theological interest in his eyes. He saw its full value as a vindication of the Canon of Scripture, and saw also that some things in it might expose him to the charge of heresy” (435). In this regard, it may be significant that Muratori’s introduction spends significant time on the Fragment’s omission of Hebrews. On the other hand, any attempt to hide the Fragment was unsuccessful; immediately upon publication it drew public attention (Muratori, “De Literarum Statu, neglectu, & cultura in Italia post Barbaros in eam invectos usque ad Annum Christi Millesimum Centesimum,” Antiquitates Italicae, 3:853–56). Lagrange argues that Hebrews, James, and 1, 2 Peter were inadvertently left out: “Nous concluons plus nettement que leur absence du Canon doit s’expliquer plutôt par une lacune dans la copie que par une intention de l’auteur. Si au contraire on se refuse à aucune correction dans le Canon, il faudra conclure avec Harnack qu’il n’est pas l’œuvre d’Hippolyte” (“Le Canon d’Hipolyte,” 186). See Appendices E and F. 168 “The Ambrosiana of Milan and the Experiences of a Paleographer,” in idem, Paleographical Papers, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), 2:587 and pl. 143. 169  E. g., Zahn, Geschichte, 2:129–31; Tregelles, Canon Muratorianus, 2–3, 25–27; Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 214; Campos, “Epoca,” 489–90; Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 5, 8; Ferrrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 24; Verheyden, “Canon Muratori,” 489, et al. Concerning his own English translation (not reflected above), Metzger writes: “Owing to the wretched state of the Latin text, it is sometimes difficult to know what the writer intended; 165 166

C. Medieval Manuscript Abbreviation Hypothesis


brosian excerpts to those in the Fragment prompts his conclusion that not only are those three pieces (with the two Ambrosian excerpts) riddled with error, but their archetypes must also have been. Although he refers to the copyist as either “unable or unwilling to understand the work which he was copying,” he does not explore this explanation further.170 Such forcefully classicistic approaches dismiss Latin of the fifth to eighth century out of hand.171 While true that the Latin of the Fragment appears “poor,” at best “semi-literate,” vis-à-vis a more polished idiom, Latinity is relative and must be assessed with adequate attention to the stylistic conventions of the day. In addition, the exigencies of medieval scriptoria are systematically ignored in such evaluations. According to Lowe and Ferrari, Ambr. I 101 sup. is probably an eighth-century codex.172 Its script is northern Italian mixed uncial in which, according to Armando Petrucci, are inserted elements of the minuscule system that was apparently the scribes’ habitual script and that at times passes from one type to the other, showing that the scribes were not clearly aware of the opposing variants characterizing the new cursive and minuscule on one hand and uncial on the other.173

Ferrari characterizes the orthography of the entire codex as northern (sub-Alpine),174 citing, for example, the confusion of e/i, o/u and -um/-o, b/v, c/g, d/t, p/b, and ti/ci, general difficulty with final consonants, including variation with regard to the presence/absence of final -m, -s and -t – together characterized as

several phrases, therefore, are provided with alternative renderings (enclosed within parentheses). Translational expansions are enclosed within square brackets. The numerals indicate the lines of the original text. For a discussion, see chap. VIII.1 above, where freer renderings are sometimes given in place of the following literalistic translation” (Canon of the New Testament, 305). To my knowledge only Volkmar regarded the manuscript as without corruption based on eighth-ninth century standards of Latin (Credner, Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanon, 141–70 and 341–63, here: 341). For this opinion Volkmar is all but mocked by Tregelles (Canon Muratorianus, 27–28). 170  General Survey of the History of the Canon, (1870), 494, emphasis added. 171  See Chiesa, Medieval Latin Philology, e-book “loc. 685.” 172  Armando Petrucci notes that this hand is “rustic uncial” according to Schiaparelli (Writers and Readers in Medieval Italy: Studies in the History of Written Culture, ed. Charles M. Radding [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995], 85). Lowe comments: “Uncial saec. VIII med., written probably at Bobbio, to judge by the type of uncial” (CLA 3:352 and suppl. 50); Ferrari, “… lascio per prudenza un limite elastico, fra la fine dell’VII e la metà dell’VIII secolo” (“Il Codex Muratorianus,” 25). On the basis of orthography alone, Lowe cautiously hypothesized an Irish antigraph; and, with greater decisiveness, Hillgarth followed. CLA 3:352. Cf. Hillgarth, “The East, Visigothic Spain, and the Irish,” 448. About Ambr. I. 101 sup. Hillgarth comments, “copied at Bobbio (saec. VIII), probably from an Irish exemplar.” 173 Petrucci, Writers and Readers, 85. Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 23–24, citing Armando Petrucci, “L’onciale romana,” 75–134; idem, “Il codice n. 490 della Biblioteca Capitolare di Lucca: un problema di storia della cultura medievale ancora da risolvere,” Actum Luce 11 (1973): 159–74, here: 168. 174  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 24.


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

a rare number of “problemi fonetici e morfologici.”175 The codex’s Latinity thus contrasts with a polished classical Latin, rather reflecting the stylistic conventions of its day. Ferrari’s characterization emphasizes a phonetic explanation for deviances from the classical idiom without any consideration of a graphic (visual as opposed to aural) derivation. The next section explores some of the Muratorian Fragment’s orthographical and related anomalies in graphical terms.

Abbreviation Systems Latin scribal practice utilized abbreviations extensively. Nomina sacra, abbreviations for the divine names, exemplify such abbreviations but are by no means the only examples. Nearly every word in a manuscript was a candidate for abbreviation. A few lines of the Fragment employ nomina sacra (e. g., xpi = Christi in l. 3; spu = spiritu in l. 19). To my knowledge, these contractions are currently regarded as the Fragment’s only abbreviations.176 Yet others are clear. For example, as noted above, l. 7 features the letter “d” with a bisecting horizontal line (also referred to as a macron, tilde or supralinear stroke) through its ascender. This abbreviation is widely used, frequently denoting the Latin word de.177 The ampersand plus apostrophe in l. 32, the ampersand in l. 44, and the ‘2’-shaped character at the end of mitiad in l. 81 also represent standard abbreviations. To be sure, the medieval copyist encounters abbreviations so often a few stray abbreviations in an otherwise expanded text might easily be overlooked. Nonetheless, these marks invite a discussion of whether the Fragment’s exemplar was abbreviated. In what follows, I suspend the assumption of flagrant corruption by an ignorant scribe copying the Fragment in order to test the alternate assumption that the scribe had difficulty reading an abbreviated script. In order to convincingly posit a copyist’s difficulty reading a script, it is necessary to demonstrate precise and systematic distortion. Medieval scribes had more than one system of abbreviation, but these systems share extensive overlaps.178 Most are  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 24. is silent concerning all forms of abbreviation in the Fragment other than the nomina sacra. See Wallace Martin Lindsay, Notae Latinae: An Account of Abbreviation in Latin Mss of the Early Minuscule Period (c. 700–850) (Cambridge: The University Press, 1915). Referring to Buchanan, “Codex Muratorianus” and Ludwig Traube, Nomina sacra: Versuch einer Geschichte der christlichen Kürzung (Munich: C. H. Beck, 1907), 261, Lindsay mentions the Muratorian Codex a few times (84 [#89]; 90 [#98: p–is/patris]; 412, [#15]; 441 [#129]) but notes that he does not collect all abbreviations in it. 177  E. A. Lowe, The Beneventan Script: A History of the South Italian Minuscule, ed. Virginia Brown, Sussidi eruditi 33–34 (Rome: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1980), 1:178. 178  Lindsay, Notae Latinae, 84, 90, 412, 441; Lowe, Beneventan Script, 1:97–99; Bischoff, Latin Palaeography, 109–111. According to Lowe, first use of Beneventan “falls at the end of the 8th 175

176 Scholarship

C. Medieval Manuscript Abbreviation Hypothesis


based on the three principles of suspension, contraction, and/or special symbols (tachygraphy).179 Forms of suspension represented by shortening (e. g., m’ for -mus or qq for quoque)180 sometimes involve a tachygraphic sign or form of “shorthand” (notae Tironianae).181 Some systems deploy abbreviations more frequently than others. Beneventan is a medieval script originating in southern Italy at roughly the same time as the Muratorian Codex (mid-eighth century).182 It possesses many traits of pre-Caroline scripts183 as well as strong links to Monte Cassino, the present location of the Benedictine Prologues, an external witness to the text of the MF (see Chapter 5).184 It was popular for liturgical texts. Francis Newton carefully explicates the abbreviation system at work in the Beneventan manuscripts at Monte Cassino between 1058–1105. This system is in use long after Ambr. I 101 sup. was copied. It sets a reasonable standard against which to measure our text precisely because it is a discrete system that calcifies practices in flux in centuries prior. A discrete tradition is necessary to avoid a mere random appeal across centuries of abbreviations. The added heuristic value of this particular system is its coherency, mitigating the historical conundrum that it is a script tradition that probably postdates that of the MF’s archetype. The status I ascribe to this reconstruction of the archetype may be compared to the status that earlier scholars ascribed to their reconstructions of a Greek model, insofar as each attempts to explain the state of the extant Latin text. In contrast to Greek reconstructions (see Appendix G), however, my aim – beyond demonstrating that the archetype was likely abbreviated – is twofold: (1) to demonstrate the plausible dignity of a Latin archetype, alleviating the need for its explanation century” (Beneventan Script, 1:41). Generically, Beneventan was used for liturgical manuscripts (Beneventan Script, 18–21). It was used in Beneventan monasteries – primarily Monte Cassino (also Nonantola) – which suggests a possible connection to the MF through the Benedictine prologues (see chapter 5). 179 Lowe, Beneventan Script, 1:156. 180 qq for quoque represents both contraction and suspension, but typically marks would clarify. 181 On the Tironian symbols, see Emile Chatelain, Introduction à la lecture des notes tironiennes (Paris: [by the author], 1900; New York: Franklin, 1900). 182  According to Francis Newton, the symbols almost all had “an arbitrary quality” with “multivalent” meaning (The Scriptorium and Library at Monte Cassino, 1058–1105, Cambridge Studies in Paleography and Codicology 7 [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999], 167). The script was also called longobardian (Longobarda, Longobardistica), signifying its origin during Lombard rule (568–774 ce). Whereas Lowe discusses Beneventan script in general (Beneventan Script), Francis Newton focuses on its manifestation at Monte Cassino in a somewhat narrow timeframe: Scriptorium and Library, 167–73. The standard reference work on Latin paleography also addresses abbreviations: Bischoff, Latin Palaeography, 109–11 (Beneventan), 150–68 (abbreviations). “The area in which the script [Beneventan] was written eventually bounded by a roughly north-south line from Chieti to the Gulf of Gaeta” (109–10). The history of the region suggests a possible relationship of dependence with Nonantola (near Modena) although, generally speaking, it is confined to southern Italy. 183  Bischoff, Latin Palaeography, 109–111; cf. 150–78. 184  Bischoff, Latin Palaeography, 109–11.


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

as the translation of a Greek original, let alone the work of an author with poor Latin and good Greek (e. g., Victorinus of Pettau); (2) to quell the assumption that the scribe of our text was ignorant; and, (3) to offer additional proof for the conjecture that biblical books absent from the text such as Hebrews were not rejected but overlooked in a dense jungle of indecipherable abbreviations. Seen against typical scribal practices of abbreviation and orthography, the text of the Fragment is evaluated below.

Major Abbreviation Symbols Newton delineates the ten major abbreviation signs of eleventh-century Beneventan as follows: 1. 3-shaped or ‘m stroke’ signifies m185 2. tilde signifies multipurpose suspension or contraction sign186 3. reversed s signifies multipurpose suspension or contraction sign 4. 2-shaped sign signifies -ur, -tur, -mur; later it also assumes the role of a tilde 5. apostrophe (’) signifies -us, -s 6. semicolon (;) signifies -que, -us, -bus, -mus 7. s-shaped sign signifies arbitrary omission 8. nasal abbreviations (e. g., non: nō, n; con: cō, c) 9. suprascript vowels (e. g., o, a) as forms of abbreviation 10. r, n are often missing

Orthography at Monte Cassino In addition to its system of sigla, Beneventan possesses a characteristic orthography. The principles listed below are culled from Newton’s discussion.187 Many of these features appear in other medieval writing traditions as well. 185  Newton, Scriptorium and Library, 167–68; Lowe, Beneventan Script, 171–72. Although these sigla often had more than one value, Newton points out that, since the inception of the use of Beneventan script, the “three-shaped sign” specialized as an abbreviation for m: “This is called the m stroke, but its use is restricted. Obviously, it serves for the ubiquitous inflectional ending, as in honoru [with 3-shaped sign above the u]. Nevertheless, the finest display volumes such as the Lectionarium, Vat. Lat. 1202, write out the final m except in case of limited space in the line. The sign may also be used for the m at the end of a syllable, but never for the m at the beginning of one. So our scribes write obumbrabit with the 3-shaped m stroke, but not hominibus” (Scriptorium and Library, 168). 186 Louis Havet, Manuel de critique verbale appliquée aux textes latins (Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 1967), 179 (“tilde” §§ 738–758). 187  Newton’s full exposition of orthography is located at Scriptorium and Library, 167–73; e. g., the tilde may supplant the 3-shaped stroke for final m (169). Els Rose offers a thorough and readable discussion of the stylistic conventions of liturgical Latin highlighting its incorporation

C. Medieval Manuscript Abbreviation Hypothesis


1. ae recorded as e188 2. uncertainty in choice between e or i189 3. uncertainty in choice between o or u (per populus) 4. i/y or e/i/y alternation 5. erratic h (cathecumini) 6. f rather than ph190

Hypothesis of an Abbreviated Archetype In what follows every ostensible error in the Fragment is reevaluated as reflecting an abbreviated archetype. Table 2 lists “errors” in column #1, my correction or reconstruction of the “error” in column #2 (except where noted), and a reconstruction of what the Fragmentist might have seen based on a hypothetical Beneventan archetype in column #3.191 Column #3 either conjectures an abbreviation (possibly employing a symbol) or provides the orthographical principle to which the error (e. g., “misspelling”) corresponds. Because abbreviation systems deployed abbreviations at different frequencies, it is only possible to say with certainty whether a word was abbreviated when a symbol is retained.192 Neverof elements of everyday language (ca. 700 ce) (Missale Gothicum, 24–31 [“Vulgar Latin”], 31– 187 [“Liturgical Latin”]). After an introduction to the state of research, Rose addresses vowel exchanges, including i/e, e/i, u/o, o/u, ae/e, e/ae, i/ae, oe/e, y/i, i/y, e/y, consonants (e. g., reduction and duplication, assimilation, dissimilation, epenthesis, aspiration, rhoticism, etc.), form and function, lexicology, and semantics (Missale Gothicum, 24–31, 31–187). Some crossover with Beneventan orthography is clear. See Lowe, Beneventan Script, 1:102, 280–85 for a summary (by epoch) of Beneventan orthography. 188 Newton offers a limited history of this diphthong (Scriptorium and Library, 174). Havet emphasizes a graphic rather than phonetic historical explanation of the ae/e exchange, describing degradation of the ae ligature to e with a-subscript – a “cédille” (Manuel de critique verbale, 177 [§ 726A]), and drawing attention to the fact that “spelling is intertwined with more substantial morphological and lexical problems and cannot be treated separately from them” (Chiesa, Medieval Latin Philology, e-book “loc. 3985”). Chiesa concludes: “Spelling, therefore, follows the ‘trends’; it has a ‘horizontal’ transmission, not because of contamination, but because it has a tidal diffusion; it is also highly individualized. Spelling facts are polygenetic and reversible: they are ineffective for constructing a stemma codicum and cannot be assessed by applying a stemma” (loc. 4012). 189 Survival of Chrestiani for Christ-followers in the Medicean Tacitus (Flor. Laur. 68.2) (Newton, Scriptorium and Library, 174). 190 Newton describes this as a tendency toward combatting Greek spellings and provides the example prophanatas corrected to profanatas (Newton, Scriptorium and Library, 174). 191 I refer to the posited prior version of the text as ‘archetype’ without bias as to whether it was the ‘original’ version of the text. If less common, ‘antigraph’ (ἀντίγραφον) is more correct. 192  “In general, in the earliest examples, their use was frequent but not profuse, especially in ecclesiastical texts, while from the 12th century on some scribes abbreviated almost every single word in a sentence” (citing Ainoa Castro, “Littera Visigothica (Universidad de Salamanca),” accessed March 20, 2020,


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

theless, the practice adopted below is to conjecture abbreviations each time it makes the most sense of the Fragment’s text and for all commonly abbreviated words (e. g., ecclesia).193 While I doubt a Beneventan model existed in precisely the form conjectured, the exercise below should provide an idea of what the copyist of our text attempted to expand. Table 2. Hypothetical Reconstruction of the Fragment’s Abbreviated Archetype MF

Reconstructed Latin Beneventan Archetype

l. 2 tertio l. 2 secundo l. 2 Lucan l. 4 eo l. 4 iuris l. 5 secundum l. 7 d (bisected) l. 7 idē l. 7 pro l. 7 asequi l. 8 incipet l. 9 quarti l. 9 decipolis

tertium secundum Lucam eum iuris litteris (Lietz.) itineris (Bunsen) secundum videt ideo prout assequi incipit quartum discipulis

l. 10 condescipulis l. 11 odie l. 15 iohannis

condiscipulis hodie Iohannes

l. 16 cunta


tertiu with m stroke over u s or sm with tilde bisecting shaft of s194 Lucan with m stroke over u ( unam) – strong evidence of an abbreviated original. Comparison with the Benedictine Prologues offer additional evidence. For example, an abbreviated original may account for potest in MF l. 67. BP l. 32 records in the corresponding place oportet, commonly abbreviated by the letter o followed by the 3-shaped siglum.231 This symbol would be difficult to expand if it was unfamiliar.232 Similarly, Lietzmann reconstructs fincte in MF l. 65 finctae, but BP l. 30 records ficte suggesting an abbreviation such as fct, fcte, or ficte (with a macron standing for the nasal suspension).233 Finally, with respect to praecipuum (BP l. 4) and principium (MF l. 45): pri would have been abbreviated by a p with a small i over it,234 whereas prae would normally be abbreviated pr with a line over it. Once the scribe misunderstood the abbreviation, s/he misunderstood the whole word, and so supplied the end of it incorrectly.

227  Perhaps there would have been a mark after the q. The error of forgetting to indicate the u after q, was common. 228  The cluster here has only two consonants, exaggerating slightly the Beneventan rule above; see also l. 9. 229 Bischoff, Latin Palaeography, 167. 230  The scribe assumed he saw constitutorē. 231  Bischoff, Latin Palaeography, 161. 232  See Lindsay, Notae Latinae, 354–55 (#441); cf. 174 (oportet): opt- and p. 195 (potest): potor pt-. An exchange of letters is not difficult to imagine. 233  See Bischoff, Latin Palaeography, 161. 234  Lindsay, Notae Latinae, 354 (#441).

C. Medieval Manuscript Abbreviation Hypothesis


Menda vera In terms of mistakes unrelated to script, the most common in the Benevenetan manuscripts studied by Newton are as follows: 1. loss of e or i between consonants235 2. choice between voiceless and voiced consonants (e. g., d-t, p-b, c-g)236 3. confusion between b and u (liuer for liber, nouis for nobis, etc.) 4. cx as strengthening x (coniuncxerit, MC 15) 5. misspelling of words beginning with scr or str237 6. consonant clusters losing one consonant (urs for urbs, stips for stirps) 7. confusion of ci and ti 8. omission of syllable (intellitur for intelligitur) 9. introduction of alien letters (venstris for ventris)

Notably, the Fragment has very few examples of such errors. It has no common misspellings such as loss of e or i between consonants, no voiceless versus voiced errors,238 no confusion of b and u, no c strengthening x (i. e., cx), and no misspelling of words beginning with scr or str.239 Confusion of ci and ti is also absent (e. g., conuersatione, l. 22). Mistakes we might have expected from a scribe ignorant of much more than just script include medcus for medicus in l. 3, liuro for libro in l. 35, and sribat for scribat in l. 50. Occasionally a letter is lost in a consonant cluster (decipolis = discipulis, l. 9; scificate = sanctificatae, l.  63;240 mitiadis = Miltiadis, l.  81).241 dom- (domenatī, l.  49) is a mistake for nom- (nominatim, l. 49) possibly corrected by the original copyist. The form cunta (l. 16) may result from an abbreviation with a doubled c or offers another example of a letter lost in a consonant cluster. The form ornidine (l. 44) for ordinem suggests metathesis was incurred in the expansion. These probably amount to trivial copying errors.242 Returning to Zahn’s novel surmise (repeated by Guignard) that “B” in l. 43 is a vestige of a Greek original, the present hypothesis provides the alternate explanation that the copyist of the Fragment struggled to read this line. He might have observed deincep with the three-shaped m stroke as superscript 235  Newton offers tenrior for the comparative of tener in MS Monte Cassino 14 (Scriptorium and Library, 175). 236  Lowe, Beneventan Script, 1:284. 237  Newton provides: sribit for scribit (Vat. lat. 1202) and sratocles for stratocles (Oxford, Bodl. Canonici Class. lat. 41) (Scriptorium and Library, 175). 238  Unless puplicare and concruit reflect this error. 239  Line 22 contains an exception: conuesatione for conversatione. 240  It employs the nomen sacrum (line over top omitted), or the scribe misunderstood the archetype. 241  Newton, Scriptorium and Library, 174–75. 242  On Beneventan ligatures, including the example in the Fragment (i. e., ct) see Lowe, Beneventan Script, 1:142–43; Newton, Scriptorium and Library, 159.


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

or even dcpe or dcp with final s as superscript mistaking either one for a “B” (l. 43, fol. 10v).243 The most likely solution is based on the parallel line in the Benedictine Prologues (see discussion Chapter 5) which offers deinde in place of deinceps B. This suggests that the copyist saw dein plus the three-shaped m stroke, expanding it to deinceps plus a mistaken rendering of the abbreviation symbol.244 Whatever the precise origin and interpretation of the abbreviations, “B” in l. 43 almost certainly does not indicate vestigial Greek. The “B” beneath scripsimu, the final word in l. 31 (fol. 10r) may function similarly (i. e., indicating the missing final letter).245 The “B” in l. 43 is likewise comparable to the tall “D” with bisected ascender at the beginning of l. 7. Lietzmann and nearly all other editors simply delete the letter as extraneous. As indicated above, however, “D” with a bisecting ascender was a widely used symbol abbreviating de.246 In some abbreviation systems, it indicates vid, the ascender of the lower case “D” bisected. Reversing the process for the “B” in l. 43, for the “D,” the copyist of Ambr. I 101 sup. recorded the symbol  See Bischoff, Latin Palaeography, 165; Newton, Scriptorium and Library, 168.  There are a few other possible explanations. First, that the scribe saw a lowercase b with a bisecting ascender – the abbreviated form of bis in later Beneventan, northern Italian, and French systems. In this case the abbreviation could have signaled that Paul sent two letters to the Corinthians. Lowe, Beneventan Script, 1:101. Second, b may be a misreading of h. Insular systems used lowercase h (possibly resembling a b) to abbreviate autem, also possible in this phrase. Beginning from Acta in l. 34, the Fragmentist marks transitions with autem; l. 39, epistulae autem; l. 44, Romanis autem after which it seems to end. Perhaps the Fragmentist’s source changed. In these three examples, autem is postpositive, coming immediately after the first word of the new phrase or sentence. One wonders if a postpositive autem is not also wanted here: deinceps autem. The insular/Irish abbreviation for autem looks like the letter h with a small line coming from the top. This abbreviation was certainly used in northern Italy, although not in southern/Beneventan. Bobbio was of course an Irish foundation. It is possible that the scribe of the MF encountered in his model an unfamiliar abbreviation and rendered it as the letter b even though it made no sense. He had the minuscule form b in mind inspired by the h and thus wrote the uncial form B. Finally, according to Adriano Capelli, B sometimes indicated “300,” a possible reference to the number of lines in Galatians estimated for purposes of time, money, or paper (cf. stichometric list in Claromontanus) (The Elements of Abbreviation in Medieval Latin Palaeography, trans. David Heimann, Richard Kay, University of Kansas Library Series 47 [Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Libraries, 1982], 45). The list in Codex Claromontanus estimates Galatians at 300. See further Manuel de critique verbale, 185 (§ 778). The main textual basis for the alphanumerical tradition making the letter B stand for 300 seems to be an early ninth-century work ascribed to Hrabanus Maurus, abbot of Fulda, then archbishop of Mainz. It can, however, only be ascribed to Hrabanus because the earliest manuscript probably excludes the possibility that he is the author, although he may have been a redactor or other transmitter. The text is De inventione linguarum, which lists various alphabets (including runes) and, where appropriate, provides the numerical values (PL 112:1579–83). I wish to express my gratitude to Jeremy Thompson for this information. 245 Tregelles says that he sees the concluding word vobis, curiously overlooked by others (Canon Muratorianus, 38). Only b is visible on the digital manuscript today (see p. 28 above). Comparing l. 74 (temporibus), the final u in scripsimu does not appear to be the -us ligature. 246 Bisected d followed by the letter o superscript indicates distinctio. See Bischoff, Latin Palaeography, 165; Havet, Manuel de critique verbale, 178 (§ 729). 243


C. Medieval Manuscript Abbreviation Hypothesis


first, followed by a guess at its meaning. In l. 7, the copyist guesses the meaning is vidit although, as Lietzmann and others have observed, viderat was more likely implied.247

Scribal Training According to Newton, scribes had various levels of training: some were successfully able to copy from two scripts, others were not.248 Patristic literature (encompassing the Fragment) falls into the category of common books. Such ordinary literature might be copied in two different scripts in the same codex – for example, part Beneventan, part Caroline.249 Still, scribes who had been requested to copy a bi-scriptural archetype, but were unable to decipher both scripts, were not unaware of their shortcoming. Newton narrates a subscription in a manuscript copied by a south Italian scribe who had precisely this dilemma. He writes, “Do not blame me because I could not write it.”250 Similarly, a scribe calling himself Subdeacon John records in a subscription: I ask you all who gather here honey-sweet flowers, When you do not find something, not to heap curses On me but to grant forgiveness. Life to the reader. To the scribe forgiveness. To the possessor, salvation.251

John of Troia appeals to readers more knowledgeable than him for help: “If you find less or more [than should be here], I ask you all, emend it.”252 Furthermore, Newton notes that modern printed versions of these subscriptions often correct the errors, disguising scribal Latinity and further obscuring our window into the

247 Kuhn, Das Muratorische Fragment, 42. There are other possible ways of interpreting what happened, such as that d originally belonged to the prior word ipse, although ipsud is unconvincing. 248  On Leo the “super-scribe,” see Francis Newton, “Beneventan Scribes and Subscriptions with a List of Those Known at the Present Time,” The Bookmark 43 (1973): 1–35, here: 7–8, 10. According to Newton, E. A. Lowe referred to Leo as “the prince of Beneventan scribes” (8). Some scribes knew two scripts (Francis Newton, “One Scriptorium, Two Scripts: Beneventan, Caroline, and the Problem of Marston MS 112,” The Yale University Library Gazette 66 supp. [1991]: 119–33). Lowe argues against the idea that two different scripts were taught and practiced in South Italian writing centers, such as Monte Cassino (Beneventan Script, 84–92). 249  Newton, “One Scriptorium, Two Scripts,” 121–22. 250  Newton, “Beneventan Scribes and Subscriptions,” 5. 251 Newton, “Beneventan Scribes and Subscriptions,” 5. 252  John of Troia is the presbyter plagiarizing Paul the Deacon’s epitaph in MC 552, p. 205; see discussion below (chapter 5, n. 75). Newton, “Beneventan Scribes and Subscriptions,” 5, 20. The education of the scribe was occasionally an explicit issue. In one copy of Augustine’s De civitate Dei, the subscription reflects what Newton refers to as the Latinity of “rude business documents” (Newton, “Beneventan Scribes and Subscriptions,” 9–10).


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

professional lives of scribes. Although they may only work in one script, according to Newton, the truly incompetent copyist (MC 286, 17) stood out.253 Precise and systematic distortions suggest that the copyist of Ambr. I 101 sup. was not incompetent but had difficulty reading the Fragment’s archetype.254 This is the only explanation accounting for the introduction of abbreviations such as d with bisected ascender in l. 7.255 A scribe familiar with the abbreviated script would not both expand and retain abbreviations. Westcott and Ferrari report that Ambr. I 101 sup. reflects the same orthographical idiosyncrasies in all texts, with no mention that the Fragment or the two Ambrosian excerpts (fols. 11r–12r) possess them to any greater or lesser extent.256 This could imply that the entire codex is a copy of an abbreviated exemplar. Whether other texts in the codex exhibit a struggle with abbreviation symbols is a desideratum of research. If they do not, it is possible that fols. 10r–12r were added to the exemplar by the copyist(s) of Ambr. I 101 sup.

Summation Although the copyist of the Muratorian Fragment has been mercilessly attacked as uneducated and uncultured since Muratori first published the text, the Fragment’s style ought not be dismissed as barbaric without some consideration of the manuscript’s vestigial abbreviation signs. The most plausible explanation of these signs is that the scribe of Ambr. I 101 sup. fols. 10r–11r (and perhaps others)  Scriptorium and Library, 175. Bischoff ’s description of Beneventan (Latin Palaeography, 109). We note that the mixed majuscules of Ambr. I 101 sup. may suggest that this scribe’s preference was minuscule. Punctuation is largely unobservable in the text, apart from a marking in l. 41 following declarant. It resembles a virgule (“/”) or point and hook in both morphology and placement; see Newton, Scriptorium and Library, 177. On the number of copyists, see Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 22 and table between 8 and 9. 255  Louis Havet, Manuel de critique verbal, a classic study of error classification, has several paragraphs on mistakes incurred as a result of abbreviations (177–84, §§ 721–780). With sincere thanks to Paolo A. Cherchi for this information. Leighton Durham Reynolds makes similar observations about copies of Seneca’s letters in The Medieval Tradition of Seneca’s Letters (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965), 64–65. According to Richard Gyug, Leonard Boyle taught students that continental scribes copying insular manuscripts (e. g., at Bobbio) frequently misunderstood abbreviations. Ferrari explains the orthography of the codex as the result of regional variances in pronunciation (e versus i, b versus p) (“Il Codex Muratorianus,” 22–25). Ferrari notes similarities between Ambr. I 101 sup. and manuscripts (e. g., Sess. 77) from Nonantola, for which a connection to Monte Cassino has been posited (“Il Codex Muratorianus,” 32–33; Newton, Scriptorium and Library, 311). 256  Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 540–43; Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 24. Cf. reports by C. H. Turner on the anonymous fragment on Matthew (fols. 19r–29v) (“Exegetical Fragment of the Third Century,” 227–41) and Ferrari on the Anonymous, Sermo de Abraham (fols. 72r–73v) (“Il Codex Muratorianus,” 47). 253

254 See

D. Ecclesiastica disciplina


was commissioned to copy an archetype in a script that utilized an unfamiliar abbreviation system. Abbreviated manuscripts were more difficult to read at the beginning,257 where aesthetics often play a special role. This could explain why the Fragment begins in medias res.258 The Fragment’s abrupt ending could suggest the project’s ultimate abandonment. The location of the Fragment in Ambr. I 101 sup. between the two major works of Eucherius (further explored in the previous chapter) may shed additional light on this question.

D. Ecclesiastica disciplina Finally, three expressions in the Fragment reflect the language of fourth to ninth century papal decretals and conciliar decrees. First, according to Detlev Jasper, the expression, ecclesiastica disciplina in MF ll.  62–63 is “the most frequently used term” in the papal letters of the beginning of the fifth century.259 257 Whereas the best scribes usually began a manuscript, the end could be left to the less experienced (Newton, “Beneventan Scribes and Subscriptions,” 10). 258  Chiesa, Medieval Latin Philology, e-book “loc. 3762.” One frequent artistic element of a prose work was to begin with verse. In terms of the Fragment, one thinks of Lightfoot’s conviction that the original form of the Fragment was not prose but verse. According to Chiesa, the textual format of a manuscript could be respected, ignored, or modified (according to a variety of new circumstances) in copies (“loc. 3810”). 259  According to Detlev Jasper and Horst Fuhrmann, (Papal Letters in the Early Middle Ages [Washington, D. C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2001], 31 n. 130), this expression can be found in the writings of the following fifth-century popes: Zosimus, JK 342 (JK = Philipp Jaffé, Regesta pontificum Romanorum, ed. F. Kaltenbrunner [Leipzig: Veit et Comp., 1885, repr. Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956]) and Ep. 50.1 (Epistulae imperatorum pontificum aliorum inde ab a. CCCLXVII usque ad a. DLIII datae Avellana quae dicitur collectio, ed. O. Günther, CSEL 35.1 [Vienna: Tempsky, 1895]; O. Günther, ed., Epistulae imperatorum pontificum aliorum inde ab a. CCCLXVII usque ad a. DLIII datae Avellana quae dicitur collectio, CSEL 35.2 [Vienna: Tempsky, 1898), 1:115]); Bonifatius I, JK 364 and 365 (Carlos da Silva Tarouca, ed., Epistularum romanorum pontificum ad vicarios, per Illyricum aliosque episcopos; Collectio thessalonicensis ad fidem codicis Vat. Lat. 5751, vol. 22: Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana, Textus et Documenta, Series theologica [Aedes Pont: Universitatis Gregorianae, 1937], no. 10 and 8, 34.6; 28.33); Celestine I, JK 369 (PL 50:431B); Sixtus III, JK 396 (SilvaTarouca, Collectio Thessalonicensis no. 14, 41.22); Leo I, JK 410 (PL 54:651B). Cf. the term apostolica disciplina (Canones synodi Romanorum ad Gallos episcopos §9 in Ernest Charles Babut, La plus ancienne décrétale [Paris: Société Nouvelle de Librairie et d’Édition, 1904], 78; cf. YvesMarie Duval, La décrétale Ad Gallos Episcopos: son texte et son auteur. Texte critique, traduction française et commentaire [Leiden: Brill, 2005], 36–37, 89–92), which first appears in either Leo I, JK 407 c. 3 (PL 54:631A) or in Gelasius, JK 621 § 9 (A. Thiel, ed., Epistolae Romanorum pontificum genuinae … a S. Hilaro usque ad Pelagium II., I: a S. Hilaro usque ad Hormisdam Ann. 461–523 [Braunsberg: Eduardi Peter, 1868; repr. Hildesheim: Olms, 1974], 1:334). Also, Siricius used evangelica disciplina (c. 13 p. 82) in JK 263 c. 1 (PL 13:1165A). See Walter Ullmann, Gelasius I (492–496): Das Papsttum an der Wende der Spätantike zum Mittelalter (Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann, 1981), 35 fols.; P. Landau, “Kanonisches Recht und römische Form: Rechtsprinzipien im ältesten römischen Kirchenrecht,” Der Staat, Zeitschrift für Staatslehre 32 (1993): 553–68, here; 562.


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

61. in honorem tamen eclesiae ca 62. tholicae in ordinationem ecclesiasticae 63. disciplinae260 sanctificatae sunt.

In fifth-century canon law the phrase emphasizes the singularity of faith, church, and tradition:261 Si ergo una fides est, manere debet et una traditio. Si una traditio est, una debet disciplina per omnes ecclesias custodiri (“If, therefore, there is one faith, it ought also to remain one tradition. If there is one tradition, one discipline (of that tradition) ought to be preserved throughout all of the churches”).262 In lines 56–57 of the Fragment, interest in this e pluribus unum ideal (cf. ll. 16–26, 46–54) also occurs: una tamen per omnem orbem terrae ecclesia diffusa esse dinoscitur (“nevertheless, a single church is recognized to be spread throughout the entire globe”).263 Second, the phrase sedente cathedra urbis Romae ecclesiae (“sitting on the seat of the church of the city of Rome”) in MF ll. 75–76, pertaining to Pope Pius (Pio episcopo fratre), echoes not only the language of fifth-century decretals, but also their imitation of Roman imperial legislative vocabulary.264 The related expression statuta sedis apostolicae (cf. sedis apostolicae auctoritas)265 is found in 260 With regard to the vocabulary of the papal letters of the beginning of the fifth century: “The most frequently used term is ecclesiastica disciplina” (Jasper and Fuhrmann, Papal Letters, 31 n. 130). See discussion below. 261 JK 263 c.3(5). The phrase resembles Siricius’s statement: Praedico, ut unam fidem habentes, unum etiam in traditione sentire debeamus (PL 13:1166B). 262  Canones § 9 (Babut, La plus ancienne décrétale, 78–79), according to Jasper and Fuhrmann, Papal Letters, 31 n. 130. 263 The idea is older than the fifth century. 264  Peter Landau argues that imperial decrees are the source of the papal decretals: “Man hat immer wieder hervorgehoben, daß sich das Papsttum in den Dekretalen seit den 80er Jahren des 4. Jh. Herrschaftsmittel der Reichsregierung zum Vorbild genommen habe und daß es vor allem das an eine Einzelfrage oder einen Einzelfall anknüpfende kaiserliche Reskript gewesen ist, das der päpstlichen Kanzlei zum Vorbild diente auch in bezug auf die intendierte Rechtsfolge einer generellen Geltung. Diesen Tatbestand hat Ullmann so formuliert: ‘Im wesentlichen unterschieden sich die päpstlichen Dekretalen in nichts von den kaiserlichen Dekreten.’ In der Tat ist das Vorbild kaiserlicher Rechtssetzung schon in der ersten uns erhaltenen Dekretale von Siricius aus dem Jahre 385 spürbar, in der die päpstlichen Rechtssätze als statuta sedis apostolicae in Parallele zu den statuta imperialia (Cod. 7.13.1) bezeichnet werden und die Beachtung dieser päpstlichen statuta neben derjenigen der Konzilskanones von Bischöfen und Priestern ausdrücklich verlangt wird. Schon in dieser ersten Dekretale gibt es eine deutliche Gleichstellung von konziliarem und päpstlichem Recht, außerdem die Verpflichtung des Empfängers, für die Verbreitung des päpstlichen Dekretalenrechts Sorge zu tragen” (“Kanonisches Recht und römische Form,” 559–60). Michele Maccarrone cites the MF for its use of cathedra to refer to the papacy/bishop of Rome at the end of the second century (“‘Cathedra Petri’ und die Idee der Entwicklung des päpstlichen Primats vom 2. bis 4. Jahrhundert,” Saeculum 13 [1962]: 278– 92, here: 283). 265  JK † 243 (Paul Hinschius, ed., Decretales Pseudo-Isidorianae, et Capitula Angilramni [Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1863], 507.14): si quis episcopum absque sedis apostolice auctoritate condempnat and JK † 244 (Hinschius 510.7): … ut apostolice sedis auctoritate fulti, in nullo ab eius devietis regulis. See Jasper and Fuhrmann, Papal Letters, 31 n. 130.

D. Ecclesiastica disciplina


the first decree of Siricius from the year 385 and is parallel to the statuta imperialia (Cod. 7.13.1).266 Sedis apostolicae auctoritas was a favorite phrase of Zosimus (d. 418 ce).267 Third, Jasper observes that by the time of Innocent I (d. 417 ce) papal letters replace the language of exhortation with that of mandate or command, reflecting Roman imperial decrees more than early Christian letters. Favorite expressions include praecipimus, decernimus, decrevimus, iubemus, iussimus, mandamus, and volumus. Miramur (“we are amazed”) is another favorite expression introduced, according to Erich Caspar, by Innocent.268 Jasper characterizes its meaning as an “aloof, almost arrogant way of beginning a sentence.”269 At the conclusion of the MF’s regula fidei (ll. 20–26), commencing the prooftext from 1 John 1:1–4, the Fragment poses a question: “Is it any wonder (quid ergo mirum) then that John very constantly brings forward details …?” (ll. 26–27). This idiom lacks the arrogance of miramur, but Jasper’s characterization of the latter may still to some extent pertain (see discussion in Chapter 7). Within the Fragment, the word mirum in. l. 27 creates a literary inclusio with omnium mirabilium in l. 33, characterizing John, the evangelist as “an author of all the marvelous things of the Lord in order” and, thereby, signaling a correspondence between reliable composition and miracles. In addition to these three observations, the expression conscripsit in l. 75 of the Fragment is unusual for the transcription of a heavenly revelation but aptly fits an edict,270 and ll. 75–76 (Hermas conscripsit, sedente cathedra urbis Romae ecclesiae), may evoke the phrase, forma, quam tenet Romana ecclesia, the first expression of the church in Rome as a binding legal entity. Peter Landau explains: Hier haben wir zum erstenmal den Begriff “römische Form” in einem von der römischen Kirche stammenden Dokument. Rom ist Bewahrerin der apostolischen Tradition in besonderer Weise, so daß inhaltlich ein von Rom ausgehender Rechtsspruch nicht etwa neues Recht – nova praecepta – , sondern das durch kirchliche Tradition Befestigte enthält. Das in Rom geltende Recht wird in derselben Dekretale als die norma atque auctoritas

266  JK † 255 (Siricius, Ep. 1 ad Himerium, 20). See Landau, “Kanonisches Recht und römische Form,” 560. 267  Jasper and Fuhrmann, Papal Letters, 31 n. 130. 268  E. Caspar, Geschichte des Papsttums von den Anfängen bis zur Höhe der Weltherrschaft, 2 vols. (Tübingen: Mohr, 1930–1933), 1:304, as cited in Jasper and Fuhrmann, Papal Letters, 19. 269  Jasper and Fuhrmann, Papal Letters, 19. 270  On the Latin verbs used to describe the act of writing and publishing, see Pascale Bourgain, “La naissance officielle de l’œuvre: l’expression métaphorique de la mise au jour in Vocabulaire du livre et de l’écriture au moyen âge,” in Actes de la table ronde, Paris 24–26 septembre 1987, ed. Olga Weijers, CIVICIMA 2 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1989), 195–205. Conscribo carries more than just the connotations of an edict. Lewis and Short, s. v. conscrībo (A New Latin Dictionary, Founded on Andrews’ Edition of Freund’s Latin Dictionary, rev., enlarged, and rewritten by Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short [New York: Harper and Brothers and Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1891], 427).


Chapter Four: Latinity of the Muratorian Fragment

Romanae ecclesiae bezeichnet und damit auch über spezielle Anordnungen hinaus die Rechtswirklichkeit von Rom als prinzipiell fur die ganze Kirche verbindlich betrachtet.271 Here we have for the first time the concept ‘Roman form’ in a document originating from the Roman church. Rome is the protector of the apostolic tradition in a special way, so that, in terms of content, a legal judgment emanating from Rome does not contain, as it were, a new law – nova praecepta – but that which is fixed by ecclesiastical tradition. The law that was valid in Rome is referred to in the same decree as the norma atque auctoritas Romanae ecclesiae and thus, beyond special decrees, considers the legal reality of Rome to be, in principle, binding for the whole Church.

According to Peter Landau, the three most basic principles of fifth-century canon law are “der Einheitlichkeit, der Rationabilität und der Veränderlichkeit des Kirchenrechts” (“the uniformity, the rationality, and the flexibility of canon law”).272 These same principles may be observed in the Fragment in its presentation of a canon that is uniform (e. g., seven churches), rational (appeal not to mix gall with honey), and flexible (e. g., options regarding public reading). As such, the Fragment looks like a text reflecting a canon for the instituta ecclesiastica – the Roman church as the caput institutionum. Evidence of the correspondences between the Fragment and fourth- to ninth-century papal decretals and conciliar decrees augments Campos’s conviction that the Latin of the Fragment does not predate the fifth century – a specific context after ca. 400 matching both its themes and its ideals.

E. Conclusion Hilgenfeld, Zahn, Lightfoot, Kuhn, and many interpreters since have attempted to reconcile the internal date of the Fragment (second century) with its exceptional Latinity. Campos argued (with others later reaffirming his position) that the Latin cannot predate the fifth century. Those who accept a second-century date for the text propose a Greek original to bridge the gap. Clever arguments based on a kind of circular reasoning support this position, enunciated well by Lightfoot: that because the text is “remarkably easy to retranslate into Greek,” it was originally Greek. To a certain extent all ecclesiastical Latin translates efficiently back into Greek. Whether or not the Latin text presupposes a prior Greek one, it is very likely that the Muratorian Fragment reflects a Latin archetype written in an abbreviated script difficult for its eighth-century copyist to expand.273 How this narrows our understanding of the origin of the Fragment is difficult to  Landau, “Kanonisches Recht und römische Form,” 560–61.  Landau, “Kanonisches Recht und römische Form,” 562. 273  Thiersch regarded the Fragment as a possibly modern not ancient forgery (Versuch zur Herstellung, 384–87). 271 272

E. Conclusion


say. While abbreviated systems were regional – even local as particular monasteries might have had their own practices – the text could have emerged in any number of different settings.274 The popularity of such systems began in the fourth century and reached a height in the Carolingian Renaissance (eighth to tenth centuries), but this is the same wide window suggested by the Fragment’s Latinity (Campos) and the Muratorian Codex’s codicology (Ferrari). Although the thesis of an abbreviated Latin archetype does not contradict Campos’s argument, the presence of the language of papal letters and conciliar decrees may press it slightly later. The overall picture developing is one of a fifth-seventh century Latin archetype in an abbreviated script. Such a hypothesis coheres well with the exclusively fourth-century texts in the codex and the many fourthcentury traditions reflected in the Fragment. External evidence for the Fragment, the topic of the next chapter, will lead us further down the road of this suggestion.

 Bischoff, Latin Palaeography, 150–56.


Chapter Five

External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment A. Introduction The present Zeitgeist of the study of early Christianity is marked by rampant skepticism with respect to sources. This tradition of debunking sources is, of course, not new. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, scholars such as Richard Bentley (1662–1742) embarked on missions to expose forgery and pseudepigraphy in classical sources.1 Numerous Platonic pseudepigrapha (letters), pseudo-pythagorica, and pseudo-Homerica were identified. To be sure, exposing forgery does not render an ancient text worthless. It simply directs its historical usefulness toward new aims – those different from an authentic text.2 More than ever, scholars today rightly emphasize the importance of the provenance of ancient witnesses. To be admissible in formal scientific argumentation, ancient texts and other artifacts must have an identifiable provenance.3 The second chapter undertook a discussion of the Muratorian Fragment’s provenance by exploring its initial discovery and publication. This chapter takes up the most challenging aspect of such legitimation: the nature and extent of its external evidence – specifically, ancient testimonia by which scholars have been led to posit knowledge of the Fragment itself, its archetype, or its contents.4

1 Dissertation on the Letters of Phalaris: with an answer to the objections of C. Boyle; to which are added Bentley’s dissertation on the epistles of Themistocles, Socrates, Euripides, and others, and the fables of Aesop, as originally printed; with occasional remarks on the whole (London: G. Auld, for J. Cuthell, Law & Whittaker, R. Priestley, & Ogles, Duncan & Cochran, 1817 [11699]). Recently, Katharina Luchner, “Pseudepigraphie und antike Briefromane,” in Pseudepigraphie und Verfasserfiktion in frühchristlichen Briefen/Pseudepigraphy and Author Fiction in Early Christian Letters, ed. M. Janssen et al., WUNT 1/246 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 233–66, here: 236–38. 2 See R. M. Calhoun, “The Letter of Mithridates: A Neglected Item of Ancient Episolary Theory,” in Pseudepigraphie und Verfasserfiktion in frühchristlichen Briefen/Pseudepigraphy and Author Fiction in Early Christian Letters, 295–330. 3 See, for example, Mark Letteney, “Authenticity and Authority: The Case for Dismantling a Dubious Correlation,” in Rethinking “Authority” in Late Antiquity, ed. A. J. Berkovitz and Mark Letteney (New York: Routledge, 2018), 33–56; J. Gregory Given, “‘Finding’ the Gospel of Thomas in Edessa,” JECS 25 (2017): 501–30. 4  Witnesses to individual traditions in the Fragment, such as the Fraternity Legend, are treated in Chapter 6 as part of the commentary.


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

B. External Evidence Absence of ancient testimony to the artifact – both the text itself and its content – is without doubt the most significant impediment to verification of the Muratorian Fragment’s antiquity. As with Ignatius’s letters, ancient authors never mention this text, and modern scholars are unable to match any ancient references to its entire content. The Fragment’s interest in the authorship of the Fourth Gospel suggests that the Fragment might have arisen in such discussions. Yet Ptolemy, Irenaeus, Theodotus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Eusebius, and others with this interest, do not cite the Fragment or any source containing its identical views.5 The objection that these writers were unaware of or deliberately overlooked texts they were aware of neither explains their silence concerning the Fragment nor constitutes evidence for its existence. Shattering as such limitations may be, two possible exceptions are regularly put forward. These ostensible witnesses to the antiquity of the Fragment are to be examined in this chapter. First, we will investigate the so-called Benedictine Prologues and Euthalian apparatus; after which, we will consider an excerpt from Chromatius of Aquileia in conversation with the related (so-called) anti-Marcionite and Monarchian prologues. All of the analogues are prologues. Even the major parallel in Chromatius appears in his prologue to Tract. Mat.

The Benedictine Prologues Known as the Benedictine Prologues (BP below) because they were discovered at the Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino, four copies of a prologue to a corpus Paulinum share 24 lines in four non-consecutive segments with the Fragment (ll. 42–50, 54–57, 63–68, and 81–85; Table 1 below). The extensive overlap of this external witness calls for a careful examination of the BP’s origin and character. We begin with a brief overview of the two monasteries and their relationship. The Benedictine Prologues and Muratorian Codex reflect a narrow geographical distribution that may impinge on the Fragment’s authenticity. Monte Cassino and Bobbio had a long-standing relationship. Monte Cassino is located eightyone miles southeast of Rome near the site of the Roman town Casinum.6 Ac5 See Hill, Johannine Corpus in the Early Church, 395. Hill regards the Fragment as a secondcentury witness to Johannine authorship of the Fourth Gospel. 6  Francis Newton explains the circumstances: “It is generally acknowledged that Monte Cassino was the greatest center of book production in South Italy in the high Middle-Ages. Furthermore, of all the phases of the abbey’s history, none was more productive than the years at the end of the eleventh century and opening of the twelfth, when it was governed by Abbot Desiderius (1058–1087) and his successor Abbot Oderisius I (1087–1105)” (The Scriptorium and

B. External Evidence


cording to Pope Gregory I’s biography, Benedict himself founded the abbey ca. 529, and the Rule of Saint Benedict was apparently composed for this community. Bobbio is located north of Rome not far from Milan. Alexander O’Hara describes Bobbio’s location and origins as follows: Bobbio, situated at the foothills of the Appennines about one hundred kilometres south of Pavia, was the last foundation of the Irish abbot and saint, Columbanus, who died there in November 615. Expelled in 610 from his monastic communities in Burgundy after falling from favour with his royal patrons, Columbanus and a number of monks eventually crossed the Alps into Italy in 612.7 They successfully sought patronage and protection at the Lombard court of King Agilulf and Queen Theodelinda in Milan; Agilulf granted Columbanus a rural basilica dedicated to St. Peter in 613. From modest beginnings, Bobbio grew into one of the most important monasteries in the early Middle Ages.8

Under Bobolen (615–ca. 654 ce), the third abbot-successor to Columbanus, Bobbio adopted the Rule of St. Benedict and eventually completely abandoned the Rule of Columbanus. By this change, Bobbio was united to the Congregation of Monte Cassino and became known as the “Monte Cassino of the North.”9 With the adoption of the Rule of St. Benedict, reading became a staple aspect of participating in the community.10 From the seventh to the tenth centuries, Library at Monte Cassino, 1058–1105, Cambridge Studies in Palaeography and Codicology 7 [Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999], 5). Other works consulted include: Carlo Cipolla, Codici Bobbiesi della Biblioteca Nazionale Universitaria di Torino (Milan: Ulrico Hoepli, 1907); idem, “Attorno alle antiche Biblioteche di Bobbio,” Rivista storica benedettina 3 (1908): 561–80; “Bobbio,” in Enciclopedia Italiana e Dizionario della Conversazione (Venice: Girolamo Tasso, 1930), 4:671–72; Eleonora Destefanis, La diocesi di Piacenza e il monastero di Bobbio (Spoleto: Fondazione Centro Italiano di Studi sull’Alto Medioevo, 2008), 91; Newton, “Beneventan Scribes and Subscriptions,” 1–35; Tosi, “Il governo abbaziale di Gerberto a Bobbio,” 195–223; Michael Richter, Bobbio in the Early Middle Ages: The Abiding Legacy of Columbanus (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2008); Achille Ratti, Le ultime vicende della biblioteca e dell’archivio di S. Colombano di Bobbio (Milan: Hoepli, 1901).  7  Orthodoxy of the Irish community at Bobbio was at issue: “Columbanus’s insistence on celebrating Easter according to the computus favoured by the Irish and his disregard for episcopal authority led to conflict with the Gallic bishops” (Alexander O’Hara, review of Bobbio in the Early Middle Ages, by Michael Richter, Early Medieval Europe 17 (2009): 467–68, here: 468).  8 O’Hara, review of Bobbio in the Early Middle Ages (by Richter), 467. After Columbanus’s death, Bobbio struggled against Lombard Arians. One monk (St. Bladulf ) was put to death. O’Hara writes that in his Vita Columbani (ca. 640), “Jonas [of Bobbio] describes how the saint and the Insular members of his community were expelled from Burgundy owing in part to their unwillingness to conform to local practices” (468). To my knowledge, Mirella Ferrari has not published her 2006–7 Lyell Lectures at Oxford entitled “The Library and Scriptorium of Bobbio.” She has published, however, the following three related articles: “Spigolature Bobbiesi,” Italia Medioevale e Umanistica 16 (1973): 1–41; eadem, “Biblioteche e Scrittoi Benedettini nella storia culturale della Diocesi Ambrosioana: Appunti ed Episodi,” Ricerche storiche sulla Chiesa Ambrosiana 9 (1980): 230–90, 376–81; eadem, “Le scoperte a Bobbio nel 1493: Vicende di codice e fortune di testi,” Italia Medioevale e Umanistica 13 (1970): 139–80.  9  John J. Silke, “Bobbio,” in Encyclopedia of Monasticism, ed. William M. Johnston (London and New York: Routledge, 2000; repr. 2013), 156–57, here: 156. 10 In the guidelines offered by the Rule of St. Benedict (e. g., chapter 48), Lenten reading is


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

both abbeys participated in a library consortium  – including others such as Luxeuil – collecting and copying books obtained from Italy, North Africa, and Spain. Collections were small in medieval libraries – probably only a few hundred volumes in the chief Benedictine monasteries on the continent in the ninth and tenth centuries. As a result, book borrowing was common,11 and book prerequired. As the Benedictine movement grew, so did attention to books. J. W. Clark observes: “It is very interesting to notice, as Order after Order was founded, a steady development of feeling with regard to books, and an ever-increasing care for their safe-keeping. S. Benedict had contented himself with general directions for study; the Cluniacs prescribe the selection of a special officer to take charge of the books, with an annual audit of them, and the assignment of a single volume to each brother; the Carthusians and the Cistercians provide for the loan of books to extraneous persons under certain conditions – a provision which the Benedictines in their turn adopted. Further, by the time that the Cluniac Customs were drawn up in the form in which they have come down to us, it is evident that the number of books exceeded the number of brethren; for both in them, and in the statutes which Lanfranc promulgated for the use of the English Benedictines in 1070, the keeper of the books is directed to bring all the books of the House into the Chapter, after which the brethren, one by one, are to bring in the books they had borrowed on the same day in the previous year. Some of the former class of books were probably service-books, but, after this deduction has been made, we may fairly conclude that by the end of the eleventh century Benedictine Houses possessed two sets of books: (1) those which were distributed among the brethren; (2) those which were kept in some safe place, probably the church, as part of the valuables of the House: or, to adopt modern phrases, they had a lending library and a library of reference” (Libraries in the Medieval and Renaissance Periods [Cambridge: Macmillan and Bowes, 1894], 16–17). In the fifth century, Possidius attests to such an allowance: “If anyone wants to make a copy of [any item] he should apply to the church in Hippo, where the best texts can generally be found. Or he may make inquiries anywhere else he can and should make a copy of what he finds and preserve it, and not begrudge lending it in his turn to someone asking to copy it” (as cited by Harry Y. Gamble, Books and Readers in the Early Church: A History of Early Christian Texts [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995], 138). Possidius’s quotation may be ironical. Augustine bitterly complains that people steal his books and copy them before they are finished! 11  Kenneth Setton discusses the frequently required collateral for book borrowing: “The Benedictine houses treasured their manuscripts which could not be sold or given away, and could only be loaned against a deposit of equal or larger value than the book borrowed” (“From Medieval to Modern Library,” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 104 [1960]: 371–90, here: 376). Alison Ray offers a few examples of book borrowing among monasteries: “Monasteries frequently borrowed exemplars from other institutions to make copies of texts. Works travelled between religious houses in England and on the Continent, often over great distance. Evidence for the borrowing of books survives in letter collections and other communications between monasteries. For example, the Benedictine monk Lupus of Ferrières (ca. 808–862) frequently wrote letters to scholars and heads of religious houses requesting books for copying. Between 830 and 836 Lupus studied at the abbey of Fulda, in modern-day Germany. Around 835 he wrote to Einhard (ca. 775–840), a renowned Frankish scholar and the biographer of Emperor Charlemagne (r. 768–814) asking for permission to copy several classical works, including a copy of the De Oratore (On the Orator) by the Latin author Cicero (106–43 bce). Lupus probably received this permission, as his copy of the work still survives (now British Library, Harley MS 2736). Based on script evidence, it was identified as having been written by Lupus himself ” (“Medieval Monastic Libraries,” consulted 4 June 2019, medieval-english-french-manuscripts/articles/medieval-m​o​n​a​s​t​i​c-​ l​i​b​r​a​r​i​e​s​). Michael I.  Allen is the current authority on Lupus of Ferrières; see Michael I. Allen, ed., Liber Epistolarum, by Lupus of Ferrières, CCCM289–289A (Turnhout: Brepols, forthcoming); idem, “Lupus, or the Wolf in the Library: New Commentary, Edition, and Translation of Lupus of Ferrières, Epis-

B. External Evidence


servation was of paramount importance.12 As centers of missionary activity, monks would travel far in search of monasteries with books valuable for copying. In the eleventh century, Monte Cassino underwent a revival in which countless works were copied and preserved.13 The codices containing the Benedictine Prologues are among these important works. One certain example of book borrowing between Monte Cassino and Bobbio is known. In his discussion of books copied on loan to Monte Cassino, Francis Newton narrates the circumstances: MC 371 … is of great importance for the text of the Acta Archelai;14 two MSS of this rare text have a Bobbio provenance. Bobbio plays a role in another text found in Cassinese books. The recent edition of J. van Banning has shown that his Family Two of manuscripts of the Opus imperfectum in Matthaeum contains a more complete copy of the text than had been known before; the new parts are first apparent in the Monte Cassino homilaries numbered 105, 107, 110, 114, and 310 (Plates 95, 97, 99, 103, 153), all of which date from the Desiderian or Oderisian periods. Banning’s reconstruction of the assembling of this text suggests that it occurred at Monte Cassino and that the first part was obtained from Bobbio; in fact, “it may be that a manuscript was lent to Monte Cassino for copying, without it being returned to Bobbio in due time.”15

Newton concludes: It seems probable that the great majority of the texts [i. e., Desiderian and Oderisian, 1058– 1106 ce] with which we are concerned were derived from Italian exemplars.16 tola 1,” in Studies on Medieval Empathies, ed. Karl F. Morrison and Rudolph M. Bell, Disputatio 25 (Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2013), 141–60; idem, “Poems by Lupus, written by Heiric: an endpaper for Édouard Jeauneau (Paris, BnF, lat. 7496, fol. 249v),” in Eriugena and Creation: Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Eriugenian Studies, held in honor of Edouard Jeauneau, Chicago, 9–12 November 2011, ed. Willemien Otten and Michael I. Allen (Turnhout: Brepols, 2014), 105–135. A good summary about book exchange in Lupus’s letters, while awaiting Michael I. Allen’s study, is Philippe Depreux, “Büchersuche und Büchertausch im Zeitalter der karolingischen Renaissance am Beispiel des Briefwechsels des Lupus von Ferrières,” Archiv für Kulturgeschichte 76 (1994): 267–84. 12  O’Hara, Review of Bobbio in the Early Middle Ages (by Richter), 468. 13  L. D. Reynolds and N. G. Wilson characterize the revival as “the most dramatic single event in the history of Latin scholarship in the 11th century” (Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968; 42013], 110; cf. 200). 14  Acta Archelai is perhaps the oldest and certainly one of the most significant anti-Manichaean polemical texts. 15  Newton, Scriptorium and Library, 311–12, citing Anonymous, Opus imperfectum in Matthaeum Praefatio, ed. J. van Banning, CCSL 87B (Turnhout: Brepols, 1988), xiii. The text is an Arian commentary probably from the early fifth century, perhaps from northern Italy, closely connected in the manuscript tradition to Chromatius of Aquileia. In fact, in many manuscripts, particularly those traced back to Bobbio, it is the sequel to Chromatius’s Tractatus. In this tradition, both works are ascribed to Chrysostom. According to Brent Landau, van Banning has not finished the edition (“The Sages and the Star-Child: An Introduction to the Revelation of the Magi, An Ancient Christian Apocryphon,” [PhD diss., Harvard Divinity School, 2008], 2 n. 5, 140). 16  Newton, Scriptorium and Library, 312.


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

In sum, book lending practices among monasteries in medieval Italy make it difficult to know how much to interpret from a text’s origin in a certain monastery. The Muratorian Codex is first catalogued as a volume at Bobbio that was later transferred to Milan, but this does not rule out its origination or the presence of it or its archetype at a library such as Monte Cassino. The textual parallels to the BPs gesture at such a relationship. The Benedictine Prologues appear in four Latin manuscripts (three of the eleventh- and one of the twelfth-century) catalogued at Monte Cassino.17 The monastery first published a collation of the section of the four codices relevant to the study of the Muratorian Fragment in Miscellanea cassinese (1897), utilizing the Latin text of the Fragment by Gottfried Kuhn (1892).18 The collation labels the manuscripts as follows: (1) C = Cod. Cas. 349, 11th c., p. 88–90; (2) C1 = Cod. Cas. 552, 11th c., p. 56; (3) C2 = Cod. Cas. 235, 12th c., p. 3;19 (4) C3 = Cod. Cas. 535, 11th c., pp. 287–88.20 The contents of the four codices according to their Cod. Cas. numbers are as follows: 17  Bibliotheca Casinensis, 5 vols., ed. Luigi Tosti (Monte Cassino: Ex Typographia Casinensi, 1873–1894). 18  The collation appears in Bibliotheca Casinensis in 1897. See Benedictines of Montecassino, eds., “Fragmentum Muratorianum. Iuxta Codices Casinenses,” in Miscellanea Cassinese, ossia nuovi contributi alla storia, alle scienze e arti religiose, raccolti e illustrati per cura dei PP, Benedettini di Montecassino (Montecassino: Tipografia di Montecassino, 1897), 1.2:1–5. 19 “Codex CCXXXV,” in Bibliotheca Casinensis, 4:273–77. The incipit is given on pp. 273–74: Incipit argumentum in epistolis Pauli. Incipit: Epistolae Pauli ad Romanos causa haec est. Ecclesiam e duobus populis, idest, de Iudaeis et Gentibus congregatam … Desinit: Paulus dicens se ebreum ex hebreis hoc est de tribu beniamin (“Codex CCXXXV” in Bibliotheca Casinensis, 4:273–74). Under the title, Concordia epistolarum b. Pauli Apostoli ex Gilberto, this codex contains Gilbert’s (1075–1154 ce) exegetical work on the letters of Paul. Codex 235 is listed with the other manuscripts in the appendix at the beginning of Bib. Cas. vol. 1 (p. lxv) in section “K” among the twelfth-century manuscripts (pp. lxiv–lxv). 20 “Fragmentum Muratorianum. Iuxta Codices Casinenses,” 1. The variants are clearly laid out in the apparatus (“Fragmentum Muratorianum. Iuxta Codices Casinenses,” 3, 5). About this evidence Hahneman comments: the manuscripts “contain only minor deviations among themselves. C has some notable additions and omissions and changes in order, but none of these occur among the passages which correspond with the Muratorian Fragment. The Latin of the excerpts in the later Benedictine manuscripts is significantly better than that in Muratori’s Fragment and this suggests a source for the Benedictine manuscripts not directly dependent upon the Muratorian Fragment. Moreover, the Benedictine texts present several important new readings” (Muratorian Fragment, 10). Shelfmark numbers rely on the two-volume system devised by Maurus Inguanez, ed., Codicum Casinensium Manuscriptorum Catalogus Cura et Studio Monachorum S. Benedicti Archicoenobii Montis Casini (Rome: Typographia Pontificia Instituti Pii IX, 1915–41). It was updated in the 1960s with the multi-volume work by Tommaso Leccisotti, ed., Abbazia di Montecassino. I regesti dell’archivio, 11 vols. (Rome: Ministero per i beni culturali e ambientali, 1964–1977). Approximately twenty years later, Herbert Bloch catalogued possessions at Monte Cassino (focusing on its bronze doors but, in the third volume, including manuscripts) in his Monte Cassino in the Middle Ages, 3 vols. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986), 1335–38. Today, La Bibliografia dei manoscritti in scrittura beneventana (BMB) continually updates information related to the collection with essays and other news. This ongoing publication provides an index of all known Bene-

B. External Evidence


(1) C = Codex 349 contains the Pauline epistles, various NT texts, the epistle of Jerome to Minerva and Alexander (Ep. 119), and verses attributed, perhaps erroneously, to Paul the Deacon (ca. 720s–799 ce).21 (2) C1 = Codex 552 contains various texts from the New and Old Testaments, the Ritmo Casinese, and a lectionary fragment.22 (3) C2 = Codex 235 contains Gilbert of Poitiers’s commentary on the Pauline epistles.23 (4) C3 = Codex 535 contains the major and minor prophets and the Pauline epistles.24

Prologue Text Adolf von Harnack reviewed the Miscellanea cassinese collation when it first appeared.25 Although Harnack’s important review-article is often cited, his conclusions are not adequately weighed.26 Harnack offers his own reconstruction of the prologue archetype based on the published collation. Italics represent Fragment parallels:27  1 Primo omnium Corinthis scisma heresis interdicens. deinde Galathis circumcisionem, Romanis autem, ordinem scripturarum sed et ventan manuscripts and related works, together with bibliography, divided by manuscript and arranged chronologically. It also provides a list of bibliographic abbreviations (with full data on the publications) and an index of the authors. Inguanez’s notes on MC 235 acknowledge the 1897 Miscellanea Cassinese publication. His comments on MC 349 acknowledge a relationship to the Fragment. Notes on MC 535 and 552 contain citations (e. g., pp. 192, 194, 214) resembling the Fragment. 21  “S. Pauli epistolae; N. T. libri nonnulli; Fragm. Muratorianum; S. Hieronymi epistola; Pauli Diaconi” (Inguanez, Codicum Casinensium Catalogus, 191–94). Ambrogio Maria (Guerrino) Amelli (1848–1933) first attributed the verses at the end of the codex to Paul the Deacon. See “Paulo Diacono e il canone o frammento muratoriano nei codici di Montecassino,” Memorie storiche forogiuliesi 25 (1929): 89–96. See discussion on p. 215 below. 22  “N. et V. T. libri nonnulli; Versus ‘Ritmo casinese’ (Benedictine metrical text of moral instruction); Lectionarii fragmentum” (Inguanez, Codicum Casinensium Catalogus, 213–17). 23  “Gilberti Porretani, Expositio in s. Pauli epistulas” (Inguanez, Codicum Casinensium Catalogus, 45, notes acknowledge Kuhn). 24  “Prophetae maiores et minores; S. Pauli epistolae” (Inguanez, Codicum Casinensium Cata­ logus, 193–95). 25 The Miscellanea Cassinese text is located in Appendix C. 26  Review of Miscellanea Cassinese, ossia nuovi contributi alla storia, alle scienze e arti religiose, raccolti e illustrati per cura dei PP. Benedettini di Montecassino, TLZ (1898): 131–34. Harnack follows C, C1, and C3 in providing variants for the sections parallel to the MF alone: “Ich folge der Anordnung in CC1C3; die Varianten der Handshriften theile ich nur für die Stücke mit, die aus dem Murat. stammen und gepferrt gedruckt sind, in den anderen Stücken habe ich dem Text der Benedictiner zu verbessern gefucht” (“Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment [saec. xi et xii],” 132 n. 1). He also modifies versification, punctuation, expands abbreviations, and modernizes spelling over Kuhn’s version. 27  “Fragmentum Muratorianum. Iuxta Codices Casinenses,” 1–5; cf. Miscellanea Cassinese, which adds critical notes to the reading of MC 349 (C).


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

praecipuum earum esse Christum intimans, pro 5 lixius scripsit. de quibus singulis necesse est nobis disputare, cum ipse beatus apostolus Pau lus sequens precessoris sui Johannis ordinem, nonnisi nominatim, septem aecclesiis scripsit ordine tali (nam)28 cum Romanis ita agit apostolus 10 Paulus quasi cum incipientibus, qui post gentilitatem et initia fidei sortiantur et perveniant ad spem vitae aeter-29 nae, multa de phisicis rationibus insinuat, multa de scripturis divinis; ad Corinthios prima consecutos iam fidem non recte conversantes obiurgat; ad Corinthios 15 secunda contristatos quidem sed emendatos ostendit;30

28  Both C2 and C3 seek to smooth the transition from l. 8 to 9 by eradicating the senseless nam before cum Romanis ita in l. 9; see “Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment (saec. xi et xii),” 131. 29  In l. 11, Hahneman omits the line-final dash (Muratorian Fragment, 9). 30 Line 15 has a parallel in the prol. to 2 Cor in (at least) one manuscript of Pelagius (“G”). According to Souter, this manuscript comes from a “slightly later” family, but is not necessarily due to an author other than Pelagius. Alexander Souter, Pelagius’s Expositions of Thirteen Epistles of St. Paul, 2 vols., Text and Studies: Contributions to Biblical and Patristic Literature 9 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1926), 2:231; idem, “Prolegomena to the Commentary of Pelagius on the Epistles of St. Paul,” 572. Pelagius’s general prologue to the commentary (argumentum omnium epistularum) has additional parallels to related literature. In particular, ll. 24–25 (duo inter se populi) have a parallel to both the prologue of Ambrosiaster’s commentary on Paul’s letters and the first line of the unique introduction to MC 235. The general prologue (argumentum omnium epistularum) to Pelagius’s expositions (Souter, Expositions, 2:3–5) has some unusual verbal correspondences with language of the MF (e. g., singulas, l. 4, 21–22; non est sane mirum, ll. 11–12; proficiscentem, l. 17; ordinatas, l. 20). It also contains a comment on the relevance of numbers (ll. 11–20) and the comparison of the Hebrew and Thessalonian churches in both the BPs (ll. 26–27) and the Euthalian tradition (ll. 20– 27). The comparanda suggest that the MF synthesizes a spectrum of prologue literature. BP ll. 14–28 could be a paraphrase of the Pelagian general prologue to the Pauline epistles. The unique introduction to C2 (before Gilbert) shares duo populi with Pelagius’s prol. ll. 24–25 (Expositions, 2:4); and the statement omnis textus vel numerus Epistolarum ad unius hominis perfectionem proficit  could be a paraphrase of per singulas epistulas gradibus ad perfectiora veniretur (argumentum, ll. 21–22). The MF appears to rebut some of Pelagius’s points. For example, Pelagius acknowledges that the authorship of Hebrews is disputed, but adds that it is obviously eloquent and holy and in short (like Clement and Origen), comes down in favor of it. His general argumentum states that, although Romans was written last, it comes first because of its message about the former vices of the Gentiles (MF rejects and – uniquely! – orders last). Conversely, it is possible that Pelagius reacts to the canonical traditions reflected in the Fragment. All external comparanda share concerns known to the Fragmentist of which BP #1 and #2 preserve large excerpts, prompting the question of whether BP #1 and #2, and specifically C2, preserve traditions which were historically close to the traditions of the MF. That is, were they spliced into the MF or extracted from “local” materials – perhaps materials transmitted in the exemplar held at Monte Cassino that contained the MF?

B. External Evidence


Galatas in fide ipsa peccantes et ad Iudaismum decli nantes exponit; Ephesios quia incipiunt et custodiunt laudat, quod ea quae acceperunt servaverunt; Philip penses quod in quo crediderunt servantes ad fructum 20 pervenerunt; Colosenses collaudat quia velud ignotis scribit et accepto nuntio ab Epafra custodisse evangelium gratulatur; Thesalonicenses prima in opere et fide cre visse gloriatur; in secunda praeterea quod et persecutio nem passi in fide perseveraverint, quos et sanctos ap25 pellat, ut illos qui in Iudaeam Christum confessi perse cutiones fortiter tolerarunt; (ad) Hebraeos, ad31 quorum similitudinem passi sunt Thesalonicenses, ut in mandatis perseverantes persecutiones promtissime patiantur. fer tur etiam ad Laudicenses, aliam ad Alexan30 drinos, Pauli nomine ficte, ad heresim Marcio nis, et alia plura quae in aecclesia catholica recipi non oportet. fel enim cum melle miscui non congruit, Arsinofa autem seu Valentini, vel Mitiadis, nihil in totum recipimus, qui etiam 35 novum psalmorum librum Marcionis conscrip serunt, una cum Basilide (sive) Asyano Catafri gum constitutorem, verum Corinthis, et Thesa lonicensibus licet procorreptione uteretur, una tamen per omnem orbem terrae aecclesia catho40 lica diffusa esse dinoscitur. Triplex igitur He braeorum esse dinoscitur lingua. Heber unde Hebrei dicti sunt. Hanc linguam Moyses a domino legem accepit et tradidit, nam et Chaldeorum est alia, quam imperiti Iudaei vel Syri hebraeam fingunt, et ideo in multis 45 male interpretes apud illos dissonant multa, apud nos autem auctor est beatus apostolus Paulus dicens, se Hebraeum ex Hebraeis, hoc est, de tribu Beniamin.

English Translation 1

First of all, to the Corinthians, prohibiting a schism of heresy; next, to the Galatians, [prohibiting] circumcision; then, he wrote at length for the Romans, recounting a series32 of scriptures, but also relating Christ as their principle.

31  Harnack inserts ad in parentheses before hebraeos and retains ad before quorum. The insertion may have been intended to replace (rather than duplicate) the latter. 32  Ordine, cf. MF ll. 22, 31. The Fragment emphasizes the “orderliness” of tradition.


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment


Concerning the individual letters, it is necessary for us to deliberate, since the apostle Paul himself – following in order his predecessor, John – only wrote by name to seven churches in the following order ….

for with the Romans, the apostle Paul acts 10 as though with those just beginning, who are selected after paganism and the initiation of faith, and arrive at the hope of eternal life; he recommends many things concerning natural reasoning and concerning the divine scriptures. In the first [letter], he rebukes the Corinthians for following their faith but not correctly engaging with one another; 15 in the second [letter], he points out that they are chastened indeed but corrected; He exposes the Galatians as transgressing in their faith and turning back to Judaism; He praises the Ephesians because they begin and guard: that which they received they preserve; [He praises] the Philippians how by safeguarding what they believe, they bear fruit. 20 He highly commends the Colossians because he writes as though to the uninitiated; and, having received the news from Epaphras, he thanks [them] for having maintained the gospel. In the first [letter], he is proud of the Thessalonians for their increase in work and faith; in the second [letter], beyond this, for how they persevered in faith suffering persecutions; he also calls them sanctified, 25 since those who confess Christ among the Jews bravely tolerated persecution; to the Hebrews, in whose likeness the Thessalonians suffered, [he argues] with commands so that the most public persecutions might be endured. … Extant also is To the Laodiceans and another, To the Alexandrians, 30 forged in the name of Paul for the heresy of Marcion, and many others which it is not proper to receive in the catholic church because it is not fitting to mix gall with honey. However, [the writings of ] Arsinous, or Valentinus, or Mitiades, we receive nothing at all. Those who wrote 35 a new book of psalms for Marcion, along with one of Basilides [or] the Asian, founder of the Cataphrygians … but he used To the Corinthians and To the Thessalonians,33although for rebuke, nonetheless, one church is known34 to be spread throughout the whole world.

33 Utor

(“to use”) or itero (“to do a second time” or “to repeat”).  De and nosco are discrete terms.


B. External Evidence



Therefore, there are three [possible explanations for] the language of the Hebrews. It is said ‘Heber’ from which they are called ‘Hebrei.’ Moses received this language from the Lord as law and passed it down; Chaldean is another language, which inexperienced Jews or Syrians rendered as Hebrew, and they disagree with respect to many things; for this reason, you would misunderstand many things among them. 45 With us, however, the author speaking is the blessed apostle Paul. He himself is a Hebrew of the Hebrews, that is, of the tribe of Benjamin.

The collation of the BPs designates the first line of the prologues that is parallel to the MF as BP l. 1 (see Appendix C). The corresponding section of the MF begins in l. 42 and ends in l. 85.

Introduction in Monte Cassino 235 (C2) C2 begins with an introduction that is not present in the other three prologues. Its topic is the divided congregation to whom Paul addresses Romans. This unique introduction with English translation is as follows: Incipit argumentum in epistolis Pauli – Epistolae Pauli ad Romanos causa haec est. Ecclesiam e duobus populis, id est, de Iudaeis et Gentilibus, congregatam exaequat meritis, ut causas ei auferat simultatis, quae de voluntate praelationis mutuae nascebantur. Ergo ut pace inter se et caritate iungantur, ostendit pares conditione dum peccatis fuisse obnoxii comprobantur, qui aeque salutem per fidem Christi sint et gratiam consecuti. Nam neque Iudaeis profuisse legem incustoditam docet, nec Gentiles posse legis ignoratione defendi; quos ratio et ad Dei notitiam perducere poterat, et ab omni vitae pravitate revocare. Scito qui legis, non expositionem continuam esse dictorum sed subnotationes breves singulis versibus ac verbis appositas. Pauli Apostoli Epistolae numero XIIII. Ad Romanos I; ad Corinthios II. Ad Galatas I; ad Ephesios I; ad Philippenses I; ad Coloseses I; ad Thessalonicenses II; ad Timotheum I; ad Titum I; ad Philemonem I; ad Hebraeos I. Omnis textus vel numerus Epistolarum ad unius hominis perfectionem proficit. Cum Romanis ita agit Apostolus Paulus … promtissime patiantur.35 35 “Codex CCXXXV,” in Bibliotheca Casinensis, 4:273–74. Kuhn writes “etc. usque ad promptissime patiantur” because the text does not immediately continue like the other three prologues down to de tribu Beniamin (i. e., end of the prologue), but first embeds BP#1. Bibliotheca Casinensis suggests that MC 235 (C2) began with Epistole pauli ad Romanos causa hec est. Ecclesiam e duobus populis. idest. de Iudeis et gentibus congregatam … and ended with paulus dicens se ebreum ex hebreis hoc est de tribu beniamin (4:274). Harnack comments about the material in C2 following promptissime patiantur: “Während aber CC1C3 in dem Umfang und der Anordnung übereinstimmen, unterscheidet sich C2; denn (1) bringt er vor der Aufzählung der 14 Briefe (Hebräer ist in allen Hdschr. an den Schluss gestellt) ein eigenthümliches Stück, (2) enthält er nach der Auszählung folgenden Satz: “omnis textus vel numerus epistolarum ad unius hominis perfectionem proficit,” (3)  bringt er dann den Abschnitt “cum Romanis ita” bis “promtissime patiantur” (s. u. Z. 9–28) und lässt nun die Stücke aus dem Murat. Fragment folgen, während die drei anderen Zeugen nach der Aufzählung der Briefe sofort Murat. 42–50


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

Beginning of the Argument on the Epistles of Paul This is the purpose of the epistle of Paul to the Romans. He balances out the church, gathered as it is from two peoples, Jews and Gentiles, in order that he might remove from it the causes of enmity, which arose from a desire for their own [i. e., each group’s] preference. Thus, in order that they may be joined by peace and by charity among themselves, he shows that they are equal in their condition as long as they are proven to have been subject to sins, such that they may equally attain salvation through faith and grace in Christ. For he teaches that the unpreserved law has not benefited the Jews, nor can the Gentiles be excused by ignorance of the law. Reason was able to lead them to the knowledge of God and call them back from every depravity of life. Know, you whosoever reads this: this is not a continuous exposition of words, but brief annotations set alongside individual verses and words. The apostle Paul’s letters are fourteen in number: To the Romans, to the Corinthians (twice), to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, to the Colossians, to the Thessalonians (twice), to Timothy (twice), to Titus, to Philemon, to the Hebrews. Every text, or group of epistles, advances the perfection of every individual. In this manner, when Paul composes to the Romans [etc. down to] … enduring publicly (i. e., down to l. 27 of the prologue).36

This introduction goes beyond the three other prologues in emphasizing a favorable disposition toward the Jews. Together with the inclusion of Hebrews and comments linking Paul to the Jews in BP#2 (see below), C2 stresses positive Jewish relations. Such an emphasis differs from the MF, which excludes not only Hebrews, but other NT texts thought to reflect Jewish authorship (1, 2 Peter, James) and ideals (Jas 2:14–26).37 The significance of these and other differences among the four prologues – including the attribution of MC 235 to Gilbert of Poitiers – with comparison to the Fragment are discussed next.

abschreiben, dann das Stück ‘cum Romanis ita’ bis ‘patiantur’ bringen und nun die übrigen Stücke aus dem Murat. folgen lassen” (“Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment [saec. xi et xii],” 131). As Amelli notes and Brown acknowledges, the unique introduction to MC 235 has a parallel in a Pelagian prologue. Amelli writes, “Il seguito fino alle parole promptissime patiantur è tolto dal prologo Pelagiano n. 4 presso la Collezione di De Bruyne” (“Paulo Diacono,” 91). Cf. Virginia Brown, “Two Beneventan Scribes and the Verses of Paulus diaconus et monachus in Montecassino, Archivio dell’Abbazia, 349,” Segno e testo 5 (2007): 227–62, here: 255; Donatien De Bruyne, “Étude sur les origines de notre texte latin de Saint Paul,” RB 12 (1915): 358–92, here: 378; idem, “Le prologue inédit de Pélage à la première lettre aux Corinthiens,” RBén 24 (1907): 257–63. 36 For the details of the final section of C2, see Appendix C in which Kuhn’s critical apparatus is reproduced. 37  1 Peter addresses ἐκλεκτοῖς παρεπιδήμοις διασπορᾶς Πόντου, Γαλατίας, Καππαδοκίας, Ἀσίας καὶ Βιθυνίας (1:1). The superscriptio (Συμεὼν Πέτρος) of 2 Peter contains Peter’s Jewish name, and James is written ταῖς δώδεκα φυλαῖς ταῖς ἐν τῇ διασπορᾷ χαίρειν (1:1). The MF, however, includes Jude.

C. Analysis


C. Analysis Twenty-four total lines in four segments in the Benedictine Prologues (BP) parallel the text of the Muratorian Fragment (MF).38 Table 1. Parallels between the Benedictine Prologues and the Muratorian Fragment Benedictine Prologues

Muratorian Fragment

1 Primo omnium Corinthis scisma heresis interdicens. deinde Galathis circumcisionem, Romanis autem, ordinem scripturarum sed et praecipuum earum esse Christum intimans, pro5 lixius scripsit. de quibus singulis necesse est nobis disputare, cum ipse beatus apostolus Paulus sequens precessoris sui Johannis ordinem, nonnisi nominatim, septem aecclesiis scripsit ordine tali

42. primū omnium corintheis scysme heresis in 43. terdicens deinceps B callætis circumcisione 44. romanis autē ornidine scripturarum sed & 45. principium earum ess esse xpm intimans

… fer tur etiam ad Laudicenses, aliam ad Alexan30 drinos, Pauli nomine ficte, ad heresim Marcionis, et alia plura quae in aecclesia catholica recipi non oportet. fel enim cum melle miscui non congruit,

63. … fertur etiam ad 64. laudecenses alia ad alexandrinos pauli no 65. mine fincte ad heresem marcionis et alia plu

46. prolexius scripsit de quibus sincolis neces 47. se est ad nobis desputari cum ipse beatus 48. apostolus paulus sequens prodecessuris sui 49. iohannis ordinē non nisi dnominatī semptaē 50. ecclesieis scribat ordine tali …

66. ra quae in chatholicam eclesiam recepi non 67. potest fel enim cum melle misceri non con 68. cruit epistola sane iude et superscrictio

Arsinofa autem seu Valentini, vel Mitiadis, nihil in totum recipimus, qui etiam 35 novum psalmorum librum Marcionis conscripserunt, una cum Basilide (sive) Asyano Catafrigum constitutorem,

81. arsinoi autem seu ualentini. uel mitiad2 82. nihil in totum recipemus. qui etiam nouū

… verum Corinthis, et Thesalonicensibus licet procorreptione uteretur, una tamen per omnem orbem terrae aecclesia catho40 lica diffusa esse dinoscitur.

54. … uerum corentheis eti tessaolecen 55. sibus licet pro correbtione iteretur una 56. tamen per omnem orbem terrae ecclesia

83. psalmorum librum marcioni conscripse 84. runt una cum basilide assianom catafry 85. cum constitutorem

57. deffusa esse denoscitur et iohannis enī in a

As Table 1 (above) demonstrates, the parallel lines occur in four of six distinct units. The six units are labeled below as follows: BP ll. 1–9, BP ll. 9–28, BP ll. 28– 33, BP ll. 33–37, BP ll. 37–40, and BP ll. 40–47. Two units, BP ll. 9–28 (hereafter: BP #1) and ll. 40–47 (hereafter: BP #2) have no parallels in the Fragment. Table 2 38  The diplomatic version of the MF is provided to allow readers to judge the relationship between the pre-edited MF with the collated BP text.


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

highlights the different order of the four parallel units of the BPs vis-a-vis the MF. The coherence of unit order in the Fragment led Harnack to argue for its priority. Table 3 highlights differences in the order of units among the four BP witnesses. All versions of the BP (excluding the preface in MC 235 described above) begin with a list of Pauline letters. In Table 3, parallel units are numbered (e. g., P#1). The two units unique to the BP are designated BP#1 or BP#2 (bold font). C2’s introduction is identified with bold italics: Table 2. Parallels between the Muratorian Fragment and the Benedictine Prologues Parallel #1 Parallel #2 Parallel #3 Parallel #4

MF ll. 42–50 || MF ll. 54–57 || MF ll. 63–68 || MF ll. 81–85 ||

BP ll. 1–9 BP ll. 28–33

BP ll. 37–40 BP ll. 33–37

Table 3. Parallels Among the Four Benedictine Prologues C (MC 349)

C1 (MC 552)

C2 (MC 235)

C3 (MC 535)

List of 14 Letters

List of 14 Letters

List of 14 Letters

P#1||​MF  42–50 BP#1 P#2 ||​MF 63–67

P#1||​MF  42–50 BP#1 P#2||​MF  63–67

P#3||​MF  81–85 P#4 ||​MF 54–57 BP#2

P#3||​MF  81–85 P#4||​MF  54–57 BP#2

List of 14 Letters C2 Introduction BP#1 BP#2 P#1||​MF  42–50 P#2||​MF  63–67 P#3||​MF  81–85 P#4||​MF  54–57

P#1||​MF  42–50 BP#1 P#2||​MF  63–67 P#3||​MF  81–85 P#4||​MF  54–57 BP#2

As Table 3 demonstrates C, C1, and C3 are structurally similar, whereas C2 positions BP#1 and BP#2 contiguously after the introduction and P#1–4 contiguously after BP#1–2. Although the MF and BP passages exhibit verbal proximity, the different unit arrangements prompt a few observations. To begin with, P#1 does not commence with the beginning of the Fragment. The matching lines begin halfway through the Fragment (l. 42 of 85), although it would not have been the halfway mark if the Fragment originally began with Matthew and Mark. If we assume that the prologues relied on the Fragment as a written source, then the writer excerpted prefatory material on the Pauline letters from a text (the MF) treating the entire NT. If we assume that the MF relied on the prologue archetype as a written source, then the Fragmentist united a prologue to Paul’s letters with another unknown source or sources introducing the other NT books. It is, of course, also possible that both works depended on a common source. The last line of the first parallel unit (i. e., BP ll. 8–9 || MF 50) concludes that the seven letters to churches will be listed in order (ordine tali, l. 9). The Frag-


C. Analysis

ment next lists Paul’s seven letters.39 However, in BP#1, the first of two unique BP units, the BPs (in three of its copies) next offer not a list of Paul’s seven letters, but comment on Paul’s ten letters (BP#1). The order of the letters in these comments (Rom, Cor, Gal, etc.), moreover, does not correspond to the list of letters in the previous section (i. e., Cor, Gal, Rom, etc.; see P#1 || MF 42–50). The order of the letters in BP #1 does correspond to the list preceding the prologues (Ad Rom, Ad Cor, Ad Gal, Ad Eph, Ad Phil, etc.), except that the initial list includes the Pastoral Letters (1–2 Timothy, Titus) and Philemon after 2 Thessalonians, whereas the comments (BP#1) place Hebrews after 2 Thessalonians (even drawing a parallel between the two: ad quorum similitudinem passi sunt Thesalonicenses).40 C2 also differs somewhat in that P#1 follows an introduction + BP#1 + BP#2 – the introduction providing its own competing list of fourteen letters. Table 4 highlights the contrasts among the various presentations. Table 4. Letter Lists Across the BPs MF ll. 50–54

BP#1 ll. 9–28 (not in MF)

BP Introduction (C2 only)

Corinthians Ephesians Philippians Colossians Galatians Thessalonians Romans

Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians Hebrews

Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy 2 Timothy Titus Philemon Hebrews

BP#1 bears some relation to P#1 insofar as both cite the purposes of 1 Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans (i. e., schisms, circumcision, and origins, respectively), but its order of the books matches the initial lists in the BPs rather than the immediately prior list of P#1 (Cor, Gal, Rom) and 2 Corinthians has been added, denoting its purpose as consolation (BP ll. 14–15). More problematically, by including Hebrews (BP ll. 26–28), BP #1 contradicts the statement in P#1 that Paul wrote to seven churches like John in Revelation.41 39  The BP archetype skips first to the list of letters to churches (MF ll. 49–50), then to the list of letters to individuals (Philemon, Titus, and Timothy [MF ll. 59–60]). 40  As noted, Harnack refers to this aspect of the prologues as “ein eigenthümliches Stück” (“a peculiar piece”) (“Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment [saec. xi et xii],” 131). 41  Commentary on the two letters to the Corinthians and Thessalonians compounds the problem, although technically speaking, the letters might still represent two churches.


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

Following the discussion of the letters (i. e., BP#1), three of the prologues (Cc, C1, C3) skip ahead in the Fragment from l. 50 to l. 63 (P#2). These lines contain references to the forged letters to the Laodiceans and Alexandrians together with the proverb about mixing gall with honey. By skipping to l. 63, the pro­logues not only bypass the promised list of seven letters matching the claims of P#1 (noted above), but also three additional, significant segments of the Fragment: (1) discussion of the second letters to the Corinthians and Thessalonians; (2) the second comment that John wrote to seven churches in Revelation (perhaps regarded as redundant, cf. MF ll. 49–50); and, (3) the references to Philemon, Titus, and the two letters to Timothy, with the note concerning their “consecration by an ordinance of ecclesiastical discipline for the honor of the catholic church” (ll. 61–63). Discussion of Paul’s composition of the second letters to the Corinthians and Thessalonians (MF ll. 54–55) appears in P#2 (ll. 37–38) after MF ll. 63–68, although it ought to have been left out as it relies on the assertion that, like John, Paul wrote to seven churches (MF ll. 47–54), contradicted by the BPs inclusion of Hebrews. After the parallels on Laodiceans, Alexandrians, and the gall-honey proverb, the prologues bypass the Fragment’s references to Jude, two letters of John, Wisdom of the Solomon, Revelation, the Apocalypse of Peter, and the Shepherd of Hermas. Parallels resume with the Fragment’s heresiological list in MF ll. 81–85, to which the explanation about 2 Corinthians and 2 Thessalonians (noted above) is appended.42 A possible value of ending with the “second letter references” (Corinthian, Thessalonian) is the finality of the comment attached to that tradition in the Fragment: una tamen per omnem orbem terrae aecclesia catholica diffusa esse dinoscitur (“a single catholic church is recognized to be spread abroad across the entire earth”), although the MF does not share this emphasis (these lines occur in MF ll. 56–57).43 Following the last parallel unit, C, C1, and C3 include a second unit of eight unique lines (BP#2) (located immediately after BP#1 in C2). This eight-line unit argues that there are three different explanations (origin stories?) for the Hebrew language.44 The segment also includes a statement about the discordant sounds 42  Heresiological remarks make an unusual addition to a canon list, but occasionally accompany prologue material. However, if Engelbert Gutwenger S. J. is correct in arguing that the so-called anti-Marcionite prologues first emerge no earlier than the fourth century, the objection to Marcion is not actual, but fictive and perhaps archaizing (“The Anti-Marcionite Prologues,” TS 7 [1946]: 393–409). 43 Some question exists as to whether C2 included the closing reference to the second letters to Corinth and Thessalonica in ll. 36–37. See discussion of Harnack below. 44 Heber resembles the Latin word, Hebraei (“Hebrew”). Ambrosiaster shares an interest in this idea: “On Where Hebrew Got its Name” (Quaest. 108 [ed. Souter, 251–56]). See Tim Denecker, “Heber or Habraham? Ambrosiaster and Augustine on Language History,” REAug 60 (2014): 1–32; Andrew S. Jacobs, “A Jew’s Jew: Paul and the Early Christian Problem of Jewish Origins,” JR 86 (2006): 258–86.

C. Analysis


of Hebrew and other Semitic languages. It concludes with an allusion to Phil 3:5, Paul’s self-referential statements: φυλῆς Βενιαμίν (“from the tribe of Benjamin”) and Ἑβραῖος ἐξ Ἑβραίων (“Hebrew of Hebrews”), although in the reverse order from their appearance in Paul’s letter.45 Although C, C1, and C3 do not follow the order of lines in the MF, they do possess their own internal logic. Beginning, like the Fragment, with a comment on the purposes of the three most important letters – in what was, by the time of the prologue archetype’s composition, almost certainly regarded as their proper order (i. e., Romans, Corinthians, Galatians) – they proceed to comment on Paul’s letters to churches (with Hebrews here regarded as Paul’s letter to a JewishChristian church). Next, they turn to forged letters to churches (i. e., Laodiceans and Alexandrians) and conclude with the condemnation of the leaders and writings of heretical churches. The emphasis on letters to churches does not correspond with the list in the C2 introduction which incorporates Paul’s letters to individuals, possibly suggesting that this prologue is a later redaction. What can be concluded regarding the parallel data thus far? On the one hand, if we assume the MF’s priority (Option A), it appears that the author of the prologue archetype (archetype of C?) spliced his own commentary or another source into non-consecutive segments from the MF. With Benjamin Bacon, “The universal rule [is] … where a reading occurs compounded of two factors each of which is separately attested it is the compound and not the factors which is derived.”46 The problem is, of course, that BP#1 and BP#2 lack independent attestation and may not reflect a single independent source. If, on the other hand, we assume, as Option B, the priority of the pro­logue’s archetype (i. e., that the BP archetype served as a source for the MF), two observations can be made. First, BP#1, the BP’s unique commentary on ten letters, makes the MF’s list of seven letters (MF ll. 50–54) look like an epitome. The Fragmentist would have read the BP comment about seven letters and decided to omit the contradictory discussion of ten, rather offering an ordinal list of seven. Second, as a single contiguous unit (as in C2), the sense of BP#1 and BP#2 is coherent. Together, BP#1 and BP#2 could constitute a prologue on Paul’s letters to churches including Hebrews. BP#2 would argue for the inclusion of Hebrews by reminding readers that Paul referred to himself as “Hebrew of Hebrews.” In this case, the BP archetype appears to be a defense for the inclusion of Hebrews in a corpus Paulinum. If the prologues predate the Fragment and served as its source, the Fragment appears to object to the authenticity of Hebrews and 45 This interpretation is not completely unknown. Some interpreters understand Paul as emphasizing his ancestral language in this passage and elsewhere (2 Cor 11:22), translating Ἑβραῖος in Phil 3:5 as Hebrew- or Aramaic- as opposed to Greek-speaking Israelite; see BDAG, Ἑβραῖος 2. 46  Benjamin W. Bacon, “The Latin Prologues of John,” JBL 32 (1913): 194–217, here: 199.


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

other texts such as 1, 2, Peter and James omitting comments about these texts and references to them. A third possibility (Option C) is that the BPs and MF depended on at least one common source. According to this theory, BP#1–2 and the twenty-four lines parallel to the Fragment represent discrete sources that individually predate the BPs and the BPs represent the integration of both, incurring contradictions. The Fragment knew or integrated only one of the two sources, thereby remaining consistent.

Adolf von Harnack With this background we are in a position to evaluate previous arguments about the relationship between the MF and the BPs. Adolf von Harnack observes that C, C1, and C3 agree in size and arrangement. He argues that their genre is ‘compilation,’ proven by their awkward repetitions.47 Harnack begins with a discussion of C2 (MC 235), which on his argument, differs from the other three prologues in three ways. First, as we noted above, C2 begins with a list of fourteen rather than ten Pauline letters,48 including Hebrews, which Harnack characterizes as “ein eigenthümliches Stück” (“a peculiar item”).49 Second, after the introductory list of fourteen letters, C2 contains the following sentence: omnis textus vel numerus epistolarum ad unius hominis perfectionem proficit (“every text or number [collection] of letters advances toward the perfection of one human being”).50 Third, following an introduction, C2 presents BP#1–2. Harnack concludes that all four versions of the prologues reflect information compiled, out of order, from a source.51 The order in C2 may be earlier, he thinks, but a decision requires consideration of the manuscripts, which for Harnack was not possible, as they had not yet been published.52 In Harnack’s view, extensive agreement, commonality of errors, and similar arrangement of lines demonstrate that, for the twenty-four lines parallel to the Muratorian Fragment, the four prologues trace back to the Fragment itself or its archetype which they reproduce more accurately.53 The appearance of ordine tali (“in the following order …”) in BP l. 9 (followed by an ordinal list of seven of 47  “Der Prolog zu den Paulusbriefen, den alle vier Handschriften mit geringen Abweichungen enthalten, ist eine Compilation, wie die Wiederholungen in ihm beweisen” (Harnack, “Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment [saec. xi et xii],” TLZ 23 [1898]: 131–34, here: 131). 48 Hebrews is included in all four prologues. Harnack, “Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment (saec. xi et xii),” 131. 49 “Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment (saec. xi et xii),” 131. 50 C3 provides this sentence in the lower margin in twelfth-century script. 51  “Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment (saec. xi et xii),” 132–33. 52  Harnack, “Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment (saec. xi et xii),” 131–32. 53  Harnack, “Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment (saec. xi et xii),” 132.

C. Analysis


Paul’s letters in MF ll. 50 fin – 54 init) is, in Harnack’s opinion, the best evidence of this hypothesis since a non-ordinal list of ten letters follows in BP #1 (ll. 9–28). Harnack further argues that the BP archetype remedied the worst vulgarisms and typographical errors of the Fragment or its archetype but was not itself errorfree. As examples, he cites the corrupt Mitiadis (BP l. 34 || MF l. 81) and the replacement of scysmae (MF l. 42) with scisma (BP l. 1).54 He argues that the prologue archetype smoothed out deinceps to deinde (BP l. 2 || MF l. 43), records precessoris (BP l. 7, from prodecessoris, MF l. 48), and scripsit (BP l. 8 || MF l. 50, scribat). The BP archetype probably also replaced principium (MF l. 45) with praecipuum, introducing an error (l. 4), and ad nobis (MF l. 47) with nobis (l. 6). Oportet for potest (BP l. 32 || MF l. 67) may, according to Harnack, be either an inadvertent or a deliberate change.55 He explains Arsinofa (BP l. 33 || MF l. 81) as attraction based on Arsinoi autem and believes that the prologue archetype replaced MF l. 83 Marcioni (incomprehensible) with Marcionis (BP l. 35).56 He describes uteretur (BP l. 38 || MF l. 55) as a copying error for iteretur and catholica (BP l. 39) as added despite its absence from the exemplar. According to Harnack, none of these changes is remarkable. Only the insertion of cive (sive) in BP l. 36 (cf. MF l. 84) is of interest, yet C3 does not include it, suggesting it was not in the prologue archetype.57 Harnack hypothesizes that it was introduced on analogy with seu in l. 33 because the copyist believed it was necessary for understanding Asiano as referring to Basilide.58 Expressing gratitude to the Benedictines for their publication, Harnack concludes that the four BPs adopt 24 lines of the Fragment in nonsensical order to introduce a list of Paul’s letters different from the Fragment’s: Unsere Prologe lehren uns also nur, dass das Muratorische Fragment, wie wir es in der Mailänder Handschrift lesen, im 11. Jahrh. für eine Einleitung in die Paulusbriefe verwerthet worden ist. Das ist wenig, aber es ist doch etwas, und wir sind den Benedictinern für ihre Publication dankbar. Thus, our prologues teach us only that the Muratorian Fragment, as we read it in the Milan manuscript, has been recycled in the eleventh century for an introduction to the letters of Paul. That’s not much, but it’s something, and we are grateful to the Benedictines for their publication.59 54 Harnack,

“Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment (saec. xi et xii),” 133.  Harnack notes that the last modification may not be deliberate (“Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment [saec. xi et xii],” 133). 56 “‘Marcionis’ (Z. 35) steht für das dem Schreiber unverständliche ‘Marcioni’” (Harnack, “Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment [saec. xi et xii],” 133). 57  Harnack, “Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment (saec. xi et xii),” 133. 58 Acknowledging Harnack’s suggestion that the emended form sive works on analogy with l. 33, we would point out that “Basilides, citizen of Asia” is another possible reading. 59  Harnack, “Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment (saec. xi et xii),” 133. The Pro­logues adopt parts of the Fragment (a list of all books of the NT) in a nonsensical order to introduce a collection of Paul’s letters. Likewise, Hahneman regards the four Benedictine witnesses as ev55


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

Although initially the discovery may have struck some as exciting, according to Harnack, that is where the good news ends.60 Fragmente des Muratorischen Kanons  – die Kunde, dass solche in vier Handschriften des 11. und 12. Jahrhunderts nachgewiesen sind, wird den Fachgenossen Freude machen. Leider muss sofort hinzugefügt werden, dass über den bereits bekannten Umfang des Murat. hinaus uns kein Wort mehr dargeboten wird, und dass es eben deshalb gewiss ist, dass den neuen Stücken lediglich die Mailänder Handschrift selbst oder ihre mit ihr wesentlich identische Quelle, bezw. eine Abschrift zu Grunde liegt. Fragments of the Muratorian canon: The news that such fragments have been detected in four manuscripts of the eleventh and twelfth century will delight scholars. Unfortunately, it must immediately be added that no additional word is presented to us beyond the already known extent of the Muratorian Fragment, and that it is for this reason certain that the new pieces are based solely on the Milanese manuscript itself or on its source, which is essentially identical with it.61

In sum, Harnack (1898) argues that the four BPs rely on the Fragment (Option A). He does not acknowledge weaknesses of this position or consider other options. Subsequent publication of the other codices by Inguanez would provide additional information which, as we will see, shifts the consensus from C2 to C (MC 349) as closest to the prologue archetype and offers a possible terminus post quem for its copying.

Ambrogio Maria Amelli Whereas Harnack evaluates internal data as a means of dating the Benedictine prologues, roughly thirty years later, in a brief article published in 1929, Ambrogio Maria Amelli examines external data – in particular, clues in codex C (MC 349) – to narrow the date and provenance of the prologues.62 He begins by summarizing idence of the secondary nature of the Fragment: “Excerpts from the Muratorian Fragment discovered in a Prologue to Paul’s Epistles confirm that the poor Latin of the Fragment is not that of the original” (Muratorian Fragment, 9). However, Hahneman does not treat this data at length (9–10). Cf. Sundberg, “Canon Muratori: A Fourth-Century List,” 2. 60  Harnack, “Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment (saec. xi et xii),” 131–34. 61  Harnack, “Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment (saec. xi et xii),” 131. Harnack­ acknowledges the possibility that the section on the heretical writings stood right after the pseudo-Paulines in the archetype and was later moved to the end position, but the lines about both the Corinthian and Thessalonian letters cannot have been located there. They must, rather, have appeared in the position given by the Fragment: “Zwar das wäre möglich, dass in der Urschrift der Abschnitt über die häretischen Schriften gleich nach den Pseudopaulinen gestanden hat und erst später an den Schluss gerückt worden ist; aber das Stück über die beiden Cor.- un Thessal.-Briefe kann nicht dort seine Stelle gehabt haben, so es die vier Handschriften bieten, sondern nur dort, wo es das Mailänder Ms. liest” (“Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment [saec. xi et xii],” 133). 62  “Paolo Diacono,” 89–96.

C. Analysis


the three contributions to scholarship since the Benedictines’s publication of the collation in 1897. Harnack, he says, argues that the Fragment did not rely on the BP archetype; rather, it was the other way around.63 Pierre Batiffol argues that Gilbert of Poitiers – to whom C2 attributes the prologue – did not know the Fragment, but the prologue used in Gilbert’s Pauline collection was added at Monte Cassino by a compiler who knew the Fragment well.64 Otto Bardenhewer, moreover, affirms 63  “Concludeva che il testo del frammento Muratoriano dipendeva dal codice Ambrosiano, oppure da una copia di esso” (“Paolo Diacono,” 89). 64 Pierre Batiffol, “Gilbert d’Elnone et le Canon de Muratori,” RB 7 (1898): 421–23. Amelli writes: “Gilbert … non aveva cognizione del Muratoriano, che quindi il prologo Cassinese della Concordia é stato senza dubbio compilato a Montecassino e da un compilatore cassinese che ben conosceva il Muratoriano” (“Paolo Diacono,” 89). C2 is the only copy of Gilbert of Poitier’s Commentary on Paul that contains the BP. It thus appears that the BP was added at Monte Cassino, presuming that is where the manuscript was copied. In the following list, this manuscript is omitted ( At present it is not possible to compare the BPs alongside Gilbert’s commentary. There is still no critical edition of this work and the scholarship, as it stands, cannot supply a compelling solution. There are many copies of this commentary, mostly located in France, some in England and Germany, and a few in Spain and Italy. What may be interesting is that a second copy of the commentary exists at Monte Cassino under shelfmark 656. Is it possible that MC 235 (C2) was copied from MC 656, adding the BP as an introductory supplement from another MC manuscript? Extrapolating further, one could imagine that the order of the paragraphs in the BP as witnessed by MC 235, with the link between BP #1 and BP #2, is more original and means that the MF excerpts included in that manuscript too came from a model prior to the recension of the BPs in the other three Monte Cassino witnesses, that is, before the paragraphs drawn from the MF were spliced in. In this case, the MF excerpts would have been together on a parchment page (part of a single text) and on another page of the same or a different codex the two BP paragraphs were written together (BP#1, BP#2). The paragraphs were reconfigured in the three witnesses (perhaps by MC 349 first), such that only MC 235 retains traces of the original model that kept them distinct. Since, as far as we know, only MC 235 (of at least twentyfive other witnesses of Gilbert’s work) transmits the BPs, the BPs as attested in MC 235 probably have no intrinsic or authorial connection to Gilbert, but proof would depend on a critical edition or collation of manuscripts to demonstrate the textual relationships. Yet, to judge from the circulation of the Pelagian prefaces, it is possible that Gilbert knew them. The fact the BPs had a limited circulation, effectively confined to one abbey, supports the hypothesis that the BPs reflect prologue materials about Paul gathered there and added to the front of Gilbert’s commentary. That Gilbert knew the MF is unlikely. In the end, Batiffol’s argument is probably the best working hypothesis, until further work on the question, probably in the form of an edition of Gilbert’s work, can be done. Nikolaus M. Häring, editor of Gilbert’s Boethian commentaries, gives a description of MC 235 with bibliography in “Handschriftliches zu den Werken Gilberts, Bischof von Poitiers (1142–1154),” Revue d’histoire des textes 8 (1978–79): 133–94, here: 167–68. Maurice Simon’s observation of Gilbert’s inventive reliance on Ambrosiaster raises a final possibility (“La Glose de l’Épître aux Romains de Gilbert de la Porré,” Revue d’histoire ecclesiastique 52 [1957]: 51–80, here: 57, 62 n. 1, 66–68). Given the Muratorian Codex’s apparent affinity for short works by Ambrosiaster, MC 235 could contain Gilbert’s creative adaption of an important yet no longer extant text of Ambrosiaster. Souter discusses such a text in the context of reconstructing Pelagius: “What had happened was that, at least as early as the middle of the sixth century an anonymous MS of the Ambrosiaster had been accidentally or intentionally mutilated at that point. When it became necessary to copy that mutilated manuscript, the loss was observed, and was made good from another commentary. The resulting composite manuscript


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

Harnack’s conclusion.65 Amelli characterizes these contributions as “something true with something false.”66 On the basis of his own collation of C with the other three witnesses, he argues that C best represents the archetype of the BPs and MF – a compilation of four distinct sources corresponding to our own (above): (1) P#1 = BP ll. 1–9 || MF ll. 42–50; (2) BP #1 = BP ll. 9–28; (3) P#2–4 = BP ll. 28–40 || MF ll. 63–68, 81–85, 54–57; and, (4) BP #2 BP ll. 40–47 (see Table 2 above).67 C contains a colophon, which Amelli attributes to Paul the Deacon (720– 799 ce). This attribution is established by two proofs: the text itself (see below) and the plagiarizing replacement of Paul the Deacon’s name with “John, presbyter of Troia” on C1 p. 205.68 The text reads:69 had a large progeny. What I will proceed to show is that the commentary used was an uninterpolated Pelagius” (Pelagius’s Expositions of Thirteen Epistles of St. Paul: Introduction, 1:52, emphasis original). The MF would then also know this mutilated manuscript. B. Hauréau disputes Gilbert’s authorship; see his review of Bibliotheca Casinensis in Journal des savants 217 (1885): 423–34. 65  “Quanto poi al Bardenhewer nella sua Storia della letteratura sacra, si associa senz’ altro alla conclusione dell’ Harnack, affermando egli pure la dipendenza diretta or indiretta del frammento Muratoriano dal codice Ambrosiano” (“Paolo Diacono,” 89). See Otto Bardenhewer, Geschichte der altkirchlichen Literatur (Freiburg: Herder, 1913–1932), 2:610–612, here: 612. 66  “Ora a me sembra che in siffatti giudizi e congetture insieme a qualche cosa di vero trovisi alcun che di falso, il che spero risulterà dal presente lavoro, nel quale, sottoponendo il prologo Cassinese ad un più diligente esame, mi fu dato di scopire da chi, quando e dove sia esso stato composto” (“Paolo Diacono,” 89). 67  “Questo prologo, come ben si vede, risulta composto di quattro diversi documenti cioè: 1. L’esordio fino alle parole ordine tali è preso dal canone Muratoriano. 2. Il seguito fino alle parole promptissime patiantur è tolto dal prologo Pelagiano n. 4 presso la Collezione di De Bruyne. 3. Segue un secondo brano del Muratoriano dal Fertur fino al dignoscitur. 4. Si chiude con un brano d’ignota fonte da Triple fino a Beniamin, riguardante la celebre questione genealogica, se cioè il popolo ebreo derivi da Heber o da Abramo. Questione alla quale non furono estranei S. Gerolamo, S. Agostino, S. Ambrogio, S. Basilio, Ilario Diacono, l’Ambrosiaster, il Liber Genealogicus del 427, s. Isidoro, Beda, un anonimo nel codice Sangallense 133 e un anonimo del secolo V. Quest’ultimo e Ilario Diacono, come abbiamo sopra notato, presentano una più stretta analogia col prologo Cassinese. Questo poi essendo proprio soltanto della Collezione Cassinese, è naturale presumerlo composto da un cassinese” (“Paolo Diacono,” 91–92). We note Amelli’s observation of the closer analogy provided by Hilarius Diaconus. Virginia Brown suggests that Amelli was primarily  responsible for the original publication of the BPs in the 1890s (“Two Beneventan Scribes,” 255 n. 37). 68  “Un’ altra prova o meglio controprova dell’autenticità dell’epitaffio di Paolo Diacono conservatoci dal cod. 349 di Montecassino, ci vien fornita dal codice Cassinese 552 del secolo XI, ove a pag. 205 il ben noto copista Giovanni prete di Troja, si è permesso di contraffare l’epitaffio di Paolo Diacono, sostituendovi il proprio nome con evidente plagio” (“Paolo Diacono,” 94). 69  “Paolo Diacono,” 93. “Orbene il nome di questo autore cassinese ci è rivelato in un epitaffio in versi, trascritto dal medesimo copista nell’ultmo foglio del cod. 349, ed è celebre Paolo Diacono monaco di Montecassino. Questo interessante epitaffio trovasi già da oltre cinquant’anni pubblicato nella Storia della Badia Cassinese dell’Abate Tosti, ed anche nel Migne tra le opera di Paolo Diacono. Ad esso certamente allude anche la notizia enigmatica del Montfaucon sul nostro codice 349 col titolo: Pauli Diaconi Paraphrasis in Epistolas Pauli. Epperò ci domandiamo meravigliati come mai nessuno finora vi abbia fatta attenzione. È quindi utile che venga di nuovo da noi qui pubblicato” (“Paulo Diacono,” 92).

C. Analysis


Clara beati agnoscere Pauli dogmata qui vult,   Volvere hunc studeat cum magna indagine librum, Carmen enim vite [vitae?] retinet pariterque gehennae.   Ecclesiae pretiosa Dei munilia gestat, Hic quoque repperiet lector frumenta animarum.   Et satiem sine fastidio requiemque beatam, Scriptoris si forte velles cognoscere omīa   Paulus Diaconus vocitatur et ipse monachus, Hoc opus auxiliante Deo perfecit ipsius ad laudem   Et sancti Archangeli Michaelis et ille, Oro ne Dominum cesses, lector, rogitare.   Gratum ut accipiat scriptoris votum et ipse, Deo gratias. Alius incepit, ego finibi.70 He who wants to understand the famous teaching of the blessed Paul   Should be eager, with persistent focus, to unroll this book. For it contains a song of life and death equally  –   It wears the precious bridle of the church of God. Here, too, the reader will discover spiritual fruit,   Nourishment without surfeit, and blessed rest. If, by chance, you want to know the name of the writer   He is called Paul the Deacon and is himself a monk. He completed this work himself with God’s help and to the glory of God   And the holy archangel Michael. I myself, reader, beg that you not wait to ask the Lord for   Grace that He might receive the pleasing gift of the writer. Thanks be to God. Another began, I finished.

Reference in this colophon to St. Michael suggests to Amelli an original connection to Paul the Deacon, sometimes suffixed Cassinensis (“of Monte Cassino”), Abbot Theodemar’s secretary, who explicitly associates himself with the saint in a letter to his abbot.71 Amelli believes that the codex may have been copied (and colophon composed) in 786–787 ce at the time of the dedication of the Church of San Michele located at the foot of the mountain that faces Monte Cassino. This dedication took place under the Abbot Theodemar at the time when Paul the Deacon had been summoned away from Monte Cassino by Charlemagne.72 According to Amelli, notes on pp. 212 and 238 of C reveal that 70 Perhaps,

finiam ( finibo?) (fut.) or finivi (perf.). “Paulo Diacono,” 93. 72 “Inoltre l’aver egli dedicato la sua opera all’Arcangelo S. Michele, ci offre una nuova splendida conferma e in pari tempo la data importante di tale composizione. Noi sappiamo, infatti, dal cronicon Cassinense (lib. I, n. 11) come la solennissima dedicazione della chiesa di S. Michele situata ai piedi del monte che prospetta Montecassino, ebbe luogo sotto l’Abate Teodemaro verso l’anno 786 e 787, nel qual tempo coincide pure il ritorno di Paolo Diacono dal suo triennale soggiorno in Francia, chiamatovi da Carlo Magno ad insegnare il greco e altre discipline. Ora, quando si pensa alle intime relazioni dell’Abate Teodemaro con Paolo Diacono, suo 71 Amelli,


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

the archetype of this manuscript was located at the monastery of Crispin in the diocese of Cambrai (northern France).73 If Paul the Deacon (720s–799 ce) is the genuine author of the colophon, then the archetype of C (an eleventh-century ms) may be traced to his stay in the region of Cambrai (three years concluding in 786/7).74 Supporting this argument is Amelli’s observation that in C1 (p. 205), John, priest of the Troia (southern Italy), supplied his own name in place of Paul’s in his transcription of the same poem.75 If Ambr. I 101 sup. is Italian and also coeval with Paul the Deacon (i. e., eighth century),76 its archetype would not be identical with that of the BPs (i. e., located in the region of Cambrai). Amelli, thus, concludes that neither direct nor indirect dependence of the BPs on the Fragment can be proven.77 Rather, it appears that the BP archetype – a volume Paul the Deacon copied while away from Monte Cassino in the eighth century – and Ambr. I 101 sup. – copied at roughly the same time in northern

fido segretario, e quando si abbia presente l’affettuosa lettera che questi gli scriveva dal suo esilio sulla Mosella, sfogandovi tutta la sua nostalgia per Montecassino e giungendo fino a chiamare carcere lo stesso imperiale palazzo che l’ospitava, ci pare più che naturale figurarci con quanto desiderio bramasse egli di trovarsi presente alla solenne dedicazione di S. Michele che doveva quanto prima celebrarsi dal suo amatissimo Abate Teodemaro” (“Paulo Diacono,” 92–93). 73  Amelli argues, “Ora questa duplice menzione di un codice del monastero di Crespin (diocesi di Cambrai) ci rivela naturalmente una fonte donde Paolo Diacono avrà potuto attingere sia per comporre il prologo Cassinese che per l’intera collezione Cassinese” (“Paulo Diacono,” 93). According to Amelli, this claim is also partly proven by a codex containing the life of St. Gaugericus, a saint from Cambrai not far from the Crispin monastery, which Jean Mabillon, O. S. B. (1632–1707) saw at Monte Cassino and recorded it in his Annali for the year 741 (93). Both volumes (the Vita and 349) would be copies from the region of Cambrai. 74  Amelli, “Paolo Diacono,” 93. 75 Paul would have copied the archetype in Cambrai producing MC 349. He would then have transported MC 349 back to southern Italy where John of Troia, in turn, copied it, producing MC 552. See Amelli, “Paulo Diacono,” 94. In MC 552, which contains the BP, the sapiential books follow the Pauline epistles as part of the original plan of the codex. The poetic colophon naming the scribe appears at the end of Ecclesiasticus. Since the colophon logically refers to the Pauline epistles, its placement in MC 552 appears secondary. In both MC 349 and Compactio I, the colophon verses are located after the Pauline Epistles and Jerome’s Ep. 119. We note also that the ordering of the wisdom books after the Pauline Epistles in MC 552 is curiously reminiscent of the placement of Wisdom (or wisdom books) in the Fragment (Brown, “Two Beneventan Scribes,” 260, cf. 237). 76  Amelli regards the Muratorian Codex as Spanish (“Paulo Diacono,” 95). Cf. Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 39. 77  “Infine se taluno fosse vago di conoscere il nostro pensiero intorno alla presupposta dipedenza diretta o indiretta del frammento Muratoriano contenuto nel prologo Cassinese dal codice dell’Ambrosiana, non esitiamo a dichiarare che, pur ammettendo qualche ritocco nel testo da parte di Paolo Diacono riguardante l’ortografia e qualche inesattezza di trascrizione da parte del copista, non possiamo riconoscere tale dipendenza, sia in vista delle numerose sue lezioni varianti, sia altresì per il carattere speciale di talune di esse d’indole arcaica come apparirà dal quadro che qui sottoporremo delle singole varianti tra il testo Cassinese e quello Ambrosiano, non che dalle note apposte a quelle segnate con carattere più marcato” (“Paulo Diacono,” 94–95).

C. Analysis


Italy or Spain – trace their shared twenty-four lines to separate copies of an unknown source.78 Yet Virginia Brown demonstrates that Compactio I and membra disiecta  – fragments at Monte Cassino of at least eight Bibles in Beneventan script – offer an additional version of the above epitaph. In this version, the scribe gives his name as Petrus, not Paulus:79 Clara beati agnoscere pauli dogmata   Uoluere hunc studeat cum magna indagi Carmen enim vite retinet pariterque gehenne.;   Ecclesiae praetiosa dei munilia gestat.; Hic quoque repperiet lector frumenta animarum.;   Et satiem sine fastidio requiémque beatam.; Scriptoris si forte uelis cognoscere onôma.;   Petrus immeritis uocitatur et ipse sacerdos.; Hoc opus auxiliante deo perfecit et ille.;   Ipsius ad laudem et sancti archangeli micha\h/elis.; Oro ne dominum cesses lector rogitare.;   Gratum ut accipiat scriptoris uotum et ipse.;80

Substantially disproving Amelli’s proposition that Paul the Deacon composed the epitaph, Brown argues that (1)  false prosody is beneath Paul the Deacon; (2) the equation between scriptor and auctor is implausible, pointing away from the named scribe as author; and (3) the connection to the archangel Michael could indicate any number of monasteries or churches associated with this name.81 Although she acknowledges that the reference to Codex Crispinens(i)um is unusual, she suggests that it may signify the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Pierre at Crespin-en-Hainaut in the diocese of Cambrai.82 In short, it is clear that the 78 “Intanto, a conclusione di tutto, osserviamo che il codice Ambrosiano essendo sincrono di Paolo Diacono ossia del secolo VIII e di provenienza spagnuola, difficilmente si potrebbe supporre per l’archetipo copiato dal medesimo in Francia; si tratterebbe quindi piuttosto di un codice alquanto più antico dell’Ambrosiano, epperò tale da escludere qualsiasi dipendenza anche indiretta dal medesimo” (Amelli, “Paulo Diacono,” 95). 79  Brown, “Two Beneventan Scribes,” 229, 249 (for Compactio I, see 233–37). Evidently, no evidence supports that Compactio I plus its membra disiecta ever contained the BPs. 80 Brown, “Two Beneventan Scribes,” 246, where Brown acknowledges Francis Newton’s transcription as “flawless” (Newton, Beneventan Scribes, 34). On the difference between the first and second stanzas see Brown, “Two Beneventan Scribes,” 248–9. 81  Brown, “Two Beneventan Scribes,” 256–61. 82 Amelli (“Paulo Diacono,” 93) and Brown (“Two Beneventan Scribes,” 258–59) rightly draw attention to stichometric statements in MC 535, 552, 349, and Compactio I. As Amelli acknowledges, MS Saint Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, 133, p. 485 (MS dated 750–800), contains a close variant of the BP’s statement about the Hebrew language (Amelli, “Paulo Diacono,” 91) immediately followed on p. 488 by a stichometric index of the OT and NT and the works of Cyprian (p. 6). Given the rarity of such indices, it may indicate a connection to the three MC manuscripts and Compactio I.


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

closing poem attributed to Iohannes in MC 552, Paulus, in MC 349, and Petrus in Compactio I + binding strips was not written by Paul the Deacon. Thus, he does not provide a terminus ante quem or regional orientation for the BP archetype and its MF parallels.83 Nevertheless, Amelli’s hypothesis of a Cassinese origin of the BP archetype is probably correct.

Euthalian Apparatus Of further interest to an investigation of the BPs is the Euthalian apparatus (dated anywhere from the fourth to seventh century with the earliest witness, ms Codex H 015 in the sixth century).84 This work comprises prologues (πρόλογοι),85 lection lists (ἀναγνώσεις), chapters (κεφάλαια), and quotation lists (μαρτυρίαι) corresponding to Paul’s letters and Acts.86 Argumenta (ὑποθέσεις) or summaries – also part of the apparatus – appear to be later additions even though they were compiled together as one continuous text.87 The apparatus is found in hundreds of Greek biblical manuscripts.88 There are versions in Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Gothic, Latin, and Old Church Slavonic.89 Few Latin translations of Euthalius exist.90 In his 2012 publication, Euthalian Traditions: Text, Translation and Commentary, Vemund Blomkvist includes in a footnote that, at one time, he had access to the original draft of an unpublished essay by Nils Dahl, in which Dahl argued that the Benedictine Prologues fuse parts of the Euthalian apparatus with the Muratorian Fragment.91 I have not seen Dahl’s essay, but Blomkvist’s note prompted my investigation of the possibilities.92  “Two Beneventan Scribes,” 249.  Vemund Blomkvist, Euthalian Traditions: Text, Translation and Commentary, TU 170 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2012), 5. 85 There are two types of prologues: prologus praeter rem (introducing NT author to the reader, sometimes prooemium) and prologus ante rem (introducing the reader to the contents of the individual NT book). Blomkvist, Euthalian Traditions, 195. 86 Blomkvist, Euthalian Traditions, 304. 87 Blomkvist, Euthalian Traditions, 304. 88  Louis Charles Willard, A Critical Study of the Euthalian Apparatus, Arbeit zur Neutestamentlichen Textforschung 41 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2009). 89  Blomkvist, Euthalian Traditions, 6–7. 90 Blomkvist, Euthalian Traditions, 7 n. 29. Lorenzo Alessandro Zacagni (1652–1712) was an Italian librarian and scholar of late antiquity. With regard to the circulation of the Euthaliana in the Latin Middle Ages, it was limited. Besides the testimony of these four Monte Cassino manuscripts observed by Dahl, Blomkvist cites only the appearance of various titles from the Euthalian apparatus in some Latin manuscripts of Hebrews (Blomkvist, Euthalian Traditions, 7 n. 29, citing E. von Dobschütz, “Euthaliusstudien,” ZKG 19 [1899]: 107–54, here: 111). 91  Blomkvist, Euthalian Traditions, 7 n. 30. 92 I am grateful to Vemund Blomkvist for an email response dated January 21, 2020, clarifying that he is uncertain of the essay’s whereabouts today. 83 84


C. Analysis

BP #1 (ll. 9–27) and the Euthalian tradition known as Euthalius’s Prologue to the Fourteen Letters of the Blessed Apostle Paul share three closely related microtraditions.93 First, both contain a list of ten Pauline churches that includes Hebrews. Second, both texts liken Hebrews to 1 Thessalonians.94 The Vulgate prologue attributed to Jerome also shares this tradition.95 All three (BPs, Euthalius, and Vulgate prologue) express a connection between the purposes of 1 and 2 Thessalonians and Hebrews that seems to derive from their order in the letter collections. Third, both emphasize Paul’s “Hebrew” background. Table 5 assists in the comparison of parallel material. Since the parallels involve both Greek and Latin, the table provides English translations: Table 5. BPs, Euthalian Apparatus, Vulgate Preface to Paul’s Letters Benedictine Prologues

Euthalian Apparatus

Vulgate Preface to Paul’s Letters

(1) Prologue to Pauline Letters to Ten Churches including Hebrews (ll. 9–27)

(1) Prologue to Pauline Letters to Ten Churches including Hebrews (M701B–705A)96

(1) Prologue to Pauline Letters to Ten Churches including Hebrews (ll. 9–15)

(2) To the Hebrews, the likeness of which things the Thessalonians suffered, [he argues] with commands so that the most public persecutions might be endured. (ll. 26–28)

(2) After these is the [letter] to the Hebrews of whom he said the aforementioned [i. e., the Thessalonians] were imitators. (M 705A)97

(2) Truly something must be said of the Hebrews, of whom the Thessalonians, who are so highly praised, are said to have been imitators, as he says: “And you, brothers, have become imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea, for you have also suffered the same from your own countrymen as they have from the Judeans.” (ll. 47–50)

(3)There are three ways, therefore, he distinguishes the Hebrew language. ‘Heber’ and ‘Hebrei’ are said. In this language Moses received and passed down the law from God, for Chaldean is another language, because ignorant Jews and Syrians taught Hebrew, and behold in many  Willard, Euthalian Apparatus, 147–55. Euthalian Apparatus, 151. 95  Vulgate Preface to Paul’s Letters in Robert Weber and Roger Gryson, eds., Biblia Sacra Vulgata, 5th ed. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2007), 1748–49. 96 Willard, Euthalian Apparatus, 150–51. 97  Willard, Euthalian Apparatus, 151. 93

94 Willard,


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

Benedictine Prologues poor translations by them many produced discordant sounds, with us, however, the blessed apostle Paul is author saying, he himself is a Hebrew of the Hebrews, that is, of the tribe of Benjamin. (ll. 40–47)

Euthalian Apparatus

Vulgate Preface to Paul’s Letters

(3) Paul the Apostle was a Hebrew by race, of the tribe of Benjamin, belonging to the party of the Pharisees, educated in the Law of Moses by Gamaliel, the faithful teacher. (696A)98

Table 5 (above) shows that BP #1 (ll. 9–27), one of two sections in the the Benedictine Prologues for which there are no parallels in the Fragment, shares parallels with the Euthalian prologue. If the extent of the parallels with the Euthalian prologue seems minimal, their character  – particularly the ten-letter church sequence including Hebrews and the link between Thessalonians and Hebrews – is significant. If this was his observation, Dahl may, thus, have been correct that the BPs fuse parts of the Euthalian apparatus and the MF. In addition, the unique introduction of C2 (MC 235) contains a reference which could suggest reliance upon Euthaliana: scito qui legis, non expositionem continuam esse dictorum, sed subnotationes breves singulis versibus ac verbis appositas (“Understand what you read: a continuous exposition of sayings will not be given, but brief footnotes on individual verses set alongside the words”),99 particularly if subnotationes suggests the kind of work represented in the Apparatus.

Conclusion: Benedictine Prologues More than one unsolvable issue besets comparisons of the Muratorian Fragment and the BPs. Nevertheless, three tentative conclusions shall be drawn at this time. First, the BPs do not constitute external witnesses to the Fragment qua text (i. e., they make no explicit reference to it); no evidence of this kind is known today. Second, the BPs do constitute external evidence to twentyfour lines of the Fragment in four non-sequential units traceable, according to Amelli, to the eighth century. Third, although Harnack may be correct that the BP archetype incorporated excerpts from the Fragment archetype (Option A), Amelli’s argument locating the BP archetype in northern France (although undermined by Brown) poses a challenge to this conclusion. Option A is also unlikely given the difficulty of explaining why the author of the BP archetype would  Blomkvist, Euthalian Traditions, 100.


99 The Euthalian apparatus and the MF also share an interest in Peter’s martyrdom and Paul’s

travels, but these traditions are not present in the BPs.

C. Analysis


incorporate excerpts out of order into a new text by which s/he hopes to make contrary points (i. e., fourteen Pauline letters, inclusion of Hebrews). Dahl’s thesis that the BPs merge part of the Euthalian apparatus with part of the MF supports Option A and would imply that an exemplar of the Fragment was located in northern France in the eighth century. However, the reverse is also possible  – that the Fragment incorporates excerpts from a BP archetype (Option B). But, both objections to Option A apply to Option B: namely, Amelli’s challenge (i. e., France versus Italy) and the difficulty of explaining why the author of the Fragment archetype would incorporate excerpts out of order into a new text by which s/he hopes to make contrary points (i. e., seven Pauline letters, exclusion of Hebrews). There is, however, an alternative to Option A. Once C is lodged at Monte Cassino, borrowing and copying among the Italian monasteries suggests that at some time in the eighth century, just as it served as an exemplar for the other BPs, C (MC 349) could have served as the Fragment’s source. The third option (Option C)  – that the BP archetype combines two discrete sources predating the eighth century, BP#1–2 and P#1–4 (the Fragment’s archetype relying on a different copy of the latter) – while possible, lurks behind a shroud of unknowability in the eighth century. Nevertheless, it might be slightly preferable to Options A and B, in which case the Fragment archetype joined the material of P#1–4 with gospel and other early Christian prologue traditions to create a bricolage that is the so-called Muratorian Fragment.

Chromatius of Aquileia The tradition of Luke as doctor and companion of Paul present in MF ll. 2–8, although absent from Papias, is present in various other witnesses.100 Its occurrence in the prologue to Tractatus in Mathaeum of Chromatius (387–407) has prompted the hypothesis that this bishop of Aquileia knew the Fragment.101 Sundberg and 100  Physician: Irenaeus, Haer. 3.14.1; Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.4.6; Monarchian Prologue (see discussion below). Companion of Paul: Phlm 24; 2 Tim 4:11; Irenaeus, Haer. 3.14.1. However, Haer. 3.10.1, 3.14.2 and the Monarchian Prologue portray Luke as a student of more than one of Jesus’s disciples. Eusebius knows Luke as an eyewitness to the events in Acts possibly deduced from the so-called we-passages (Acts 16:10–17; 20:5–15; 21:1–18; 27:1–28:16). Hill discusses what Papias knows about Luke: “What Papias Said About John (and Luke),” 582–629. 101  Joseph Lemarié, “Saint Chromace d’Aquilée témoin du Canon de Muratori,” Revue des études augustiniennes et patristiques 24 (1978): 101–2. Other important literature includes: Chromatius, CPL 218; Giulio Trettel, ed., Cromazio di Aquileia: Commento al Vangelo di Matteo, 2 vols., Collana di testi patristici 46–47 (Roma: Città nuova, 1984); Metzger, Canon of the New Testament, 305 n. 2; Angelo de Nicola, “Il prologo ai Tractatus in Matthaeum di Cromazio,” in Chromatius episcopus: 388–1988, ed. Y.-M. Duval, Antichità altoadriatiche 34 (Udine: Arti grafiche friulane, 1988), 81–116; Jean-Daniel Kaestli, “La place du Fragment de Muratori dans l’histoire du canon: À propos de la thèse de Sundberg et Hahneman,” Cristianesimo nella storia 15 (1994): 609–34, here: 630–34; Verheyden, “Canon Muratori,” 552–55. On the anti-Marcionite


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

Hahneman do not mention Chromatius in their respective studies; Ferrari, Armstrong, and others regard the theory as all but proven.102 The conviction of those such as Ferrari is founded on a two-page essay by Joseph Lemarié and another short essay by Jean-Daniel Kaestli.103 A specialist on Chromatius, Lemarié hypothesizes directional reliance of Chromatius on the Fragment: Or, il nous faut déjà ajouter une notice à ce Supplementum. En effet, nous aurions dû noter une source importante du début du Prologue de l’évêque d’Aquilée à son Commentaire sur l’évangile de Matthieu. Quelques lignes dépendent, en effet, du Canon de Muratori. Nous mettons en regard deux passages du Prologue de Chromace et le texte du Canon.104

Lemarié offers a brief discussion of three parallel passages (Chromatius, Tract. Mat., prol. 2.26–41 and MF ll. 3–8, 16–23) organized in a table. On the basis of this comparison, he deduces that borrowing is “obvious”: L’emprunt est évident. Le Canon de Muratori est malheureusement incomplet du début et il est impossible de savoir si Chromace en dépendait pour ce qu’il écrit au sujet de Matthieu et de Marc.105

According to Lemarié, the church in Aquileia circa 400 owned a copy of the Muratorian Fragment. Lemarié concludes his argument with the implications of his finding on the Fragment’s date: if Chromatius utilizes the Fragment, it cannot have been composed later than 400 ce: or Latin prologues, see Gutwenger, “The Anti-Marcionite Prologues,” 393–409; Heard, “The Old Gospel Prologues,” 1–16. Papias’s comments on authorship of the Gospel of Mark may have offered a prototype for these descriptions of Luke. According to Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 3.39.14–17), Papias explains Markan authorship as follows: Μάρκος μὲν ἑρμηνευτὴς Πέτρου γενόμενος, ὅσα ἐμνημόνευσεν, ἀκριβῶς ἔγραψεν, οὐ μέντοι τάξει τὰ ὐπὸ τοῦ κυρίου ἢ λεχθέντα ἢ πραχθέντα. οὔτε γὰρ ἤκουσεν τοῦ κυρίου οὔτε παρηκολούθησεν αὐτῷ, ὕστερον δὲ, ὡς ἔφην, Πέτρῳ· ὃς πρὸς τὰς χρείας ἐποιεῖτο τὰς διδασκαλίας, ἀλλ’ οὐχ ὥσπερ σύνταξιν τῶν κυριακῶν ποιούμενος λογίων, ὥστε οὐδὲν ἥμαρτεν Μάρκος οὕτως ἔνια γράψας ὡς ἀπεμνημόσευσεν. ἐνὸς γὰρ ἐποιήσατο πρόνοιαν, τοῦ μηδὲν ὧν ἤκουσεν παραλιπεῖν ἢ ψεύσασθαί τι ἐν αὐτοῖς (cited from Synopsis Quattuor Evangeliorum, ed. K. Aland [Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, repr. 1996], 547). Common elements include the stipulation that the evangelist was not a disciple of the pre-Easter Lord, but a disciple of an apostle. 102  Lemarié, “Saint Chromace d’Aquilée,” 101; Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 34; Verheyden, “Canon Muratori,” 552; Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 4, 31–32. Lemarié’s essay (1978) had not appeared when Sundberg published his article (January 1973). 103 Kaestli, “La place du Fragment de Muratori,” 609–34, here: 630–4. 104  Lemarié, “Saint Chromace d’Aquilee,” 101 (“Yet we must already add a note to this supplement. Indeed, we should have noted an important source from the beginning of the prologue of the bishop of Aquileia to his commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. Some lines depend, in fact, on Muratori’s Canon. We compare the two passages in Chromatius’s prologue and the text of Canon”). 105  Lemarié, “Saint Chromace d’Aquilee,” 102 (“The borrowing is obvious. Unfortunately, the Muratorian Canon is incomplete at the beginning and it is [thus] impossible to know whether Chromatius was [also] dependent on it for what he wrote about Matthew and Mark”).

C. Analysis


Et tout porte à croire que Chromace utilise la traduction latine. L’emploi qu’il en fait dans son Prologue permet de préciser un terminus post quem, qui a son importance.106

Careful investigation of these parallels observed by Lemarié, together with a few additional correspondences provided by Kaestli, will help us to delineate the issues. Chromatius’s prologue to Tractatus in Mathaeum shares four possible parallels with the Muratorian Fragment: (1–2) two with the Fragment’s passage on Luke (MF ll.  2–8); (3)  one with the Fragment’s passage on John (not included by Lemarié; MF ll.  26–31); and (4)  one with the Fragment’s comments on the authority of the four evangelists in general (MF ll. 16–23).107 In the first passage, Chromatius offers a brief biographical statement about Luke: Lucas quoque Dominum in carne non vidit, (2) sed quia eruditissimus legis erat, quippe qui comes Pauli apostoli in omnibus fuit … (2.27–29)108 Luke too did not see the Lord in the flesh, but, because he was most learned in the law, since he was a companion of the apostle Paul in all things …

Separating and reversing the order of the two phrases of Chromatius’s statement (labeled #1 and #2 on right side of table below), parallels with the Fragment are clear (agreement in bold font):

106  Lemarié, “Saint Chromace d’Aquilee,” 102 (“And everything suggests that Chromatius uses a Latin translation. The use he makes of it in his prologue makes it possible to specify a terminus post quem, which is important”). 107  Kaestli (“La place du Fragment de Muratori,” 630–34) finds five parallels with the MF: (1) l. 22; (2) ll. 26–31; (3) l. 1; (4) ll. 3–8; and (5) ll. 16–23. I discuss MF ll. 3–8 as two individual parallels  – one dedicated to authorship, the other to text  – and exclude #1 (MF l. 22) because it has only two parallel words (conuersatione cum) appearing in a markedly different context (MF, in the Regula fidei; Tract. Mat., concerning the authorship of Matthew and John); and #3 (MF l. 1) because the two proposed passages share no similar content (631). Concerning the latter, Kaestli confidently argues that Chromatius proves that the missing section dedicated to the Second Gospel in the MF refers to Mark not having met Jesus in the flesh: “‘Luc de même (quoque) n’a pas vu le Seigneur dans la chair’ (2,27–28) est à mettre en rapport avec la phrase précédente sur Marc, ‘Celui-ci n’a pas vu le Seigneur dans la chair’ (2,25–26). Le Prologue de Chromace apporte ainsi la prevue irréfutable que le CM [i. e., the Muratorian Fragment] contenait une affirmation semblable dans la partie perdue de sa notice sur Marc; le quoque exclut toute hésitation sur le sens à donner aux lignes 6–7 du CM à propos de Luc: ‘dominum tamen nec ipse uidit in carne.’ Pas plus que Marc, Luc n’a vu le Seigneur dans la chair” (ibid., 632). 108  Raymond Étaix and Joseph Lemarié, eds., Opera, by Chromatius of Aquileia, CCSL 9A (Turnhout: Brepols, 1974), 185–91, here: 185–86.


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

Table 6. MF and Chromatius on Luke MF (ll. 2–8) 2. Tertium evangelii librum secundum Lucan 3. Lucas iste medicus post ascensum Christi 4. cum eum Paulus quasi ut iuris studiosum 5. secundum adsumsisset, nomine suo 6. ex opinione conscripsit; dominum tamen nec ipse 7. vidit in carne, et ideo prout assequi potuit 8. ita et ad natiuitate iohannis incipet dicere

Chromatius, Tract. Mat., prol. 2.27–29 (2) sed quia eruditissimus legis erat, quippe qui comes Pauli apostoli in omnibus fuit (1) Lucas quoque Dominum in carne non vidit,

As the table demonstrates, verbal points of contact between the two passages are not overwhelming. One might even argue that the table highlights differences. For example, as noted, (1)  the order of the two statements is reversed. (2)  In this section, Chromatius does not mention that Luke wrote the third gospel. (3) He claims that Luke was learned in the law; the Fragment describes him as a physician (l. 3).109 (4) Chromatius does not include that Luke lived after the ascension of Christ, (5) wrote from his own opinion; or (6) began his narrative with the birth of John the Baptist. Finally, (7) the Fragment does not claim that Paul and Luke were companions, but rather that Paul, at some stage, took Luke as a follower (adsumsisset). In general, the Fragment’s positions in this section are more conventional vis-à-vis Scripture than Chromatius’s (e. g., Luke’s profession as physician, Col 4:14; Paul as “zealous for the law,” Gal 1:13–14).110 Next Chromatius discusses Luke’s composition: … instructus gratia Dei, ipse apostolorum Acta diligenter exposuit et euangelium nomine suo conscripsit, enarrans a primordio omnem ordinem rerum, sicuti apostolorum relatione cognoverat, ut ipse testator dicendo: Sicut tradiderunt nobis qui ab aevo sunt et ministri fuerunt sermonis. (2.29–34) … prepared by the grace of God, he carefully set forth himself the Acts of the Apostles and he wrote down the gospel carefully in his own name, expounding from the very begin109 Kaestli argues that Chromatius’s phrase quia eruditissimus legis erat confirms as correct the MF’s quasi ut iuris studiosum in l. 4, demonstrating the futility of other conjectures: “Le témoignage de Chromace révèle aussi l’inutilité d’autres conjectures émises précédemment à propos de la notice sur le troisième évangéliste. Luc, compagnon de Paul, était ‘très versé dans la loi (quia eruditissimus legis erat)’: l’expression confirme l’étonnant ‘quasi ut iuris studiosum (en tant que connoisseur du droit)’ du manuscrit et rend caduques les diverses corrections qui ont eté proposées” (“La place du Fragment de Muratori,” 632). 110 Although comparison of Chromatius with the Fragment focuses on a single line (above), the entire passage, beginning with a comment on Markan authorship, demonstrates similarities to Papias’s comment on Mark, e. g., the tradition that Mark never knew the Lord in the flesh (Chromatius, Tract. Mat. 2). We see something similar with traditions represented in the Pelagian prologues and Apocryphal Acts, namely that the MF seems to argue against some of their positions. The MF appears to embrace for “orthodoxy” a handful of traditions that include “unorthodox” elements.

C. Analysis


ning everything in the order of the matters as he learned with respect to the apostles, as he himself testified, saying, as those who have been there all along and those who had been ministers of the message handed down to us (i. e., Luke 1:2).

Table 7 supplements verbatim agreement (bold) between the two passages in Table 6 with the additional verbatim agreement of this passage (#3 in bold italics below). Table 7. MF and Chromatius, Tract. Mat., prologue MF (ll. 2–8)

Chromatius, Tract. Mat., prologue

tertio euangelii librum secundo lucan lucas iste medicus post ascensum xpi cum eo paulus quasi ut iuris studiosum

(2) sed quia eruditissimus legis erat, quippe qui comes Pauli apostoli in omnibus fuit (2.28–29)

secundum adsumsisset numeni suo (3) euangelium nomine suo conscripsit (2.31) ex opinione conscripset dnm tamen nec ipse d vidit in carne et ide prout asequi potuit ita et ad natiuitate iohannis incipet dicere

(1) Lucas quoque Dominum in carne non uidit, (2.27–28)

Table 7 (above) demonstrates that the phrase nomine suo conscripsit constitutes an additional parallel between the Fragment and Tract. Mat., prol. 2. The phrase alone is too conventional to make the case for literary reliance, although as part of a cumulative argument it has value. Kaestli correctly notes that Chromatius’s excerpt (Tract. Mat., prol. 2.29–34) echoes Luke 1:1–4,111 although these echoes are without a parallel in the Fragment. Table 7 prioritizes the Fragment’s reading giving the impression that Chromatius’s prologue lacks narrative logic when in fact the opposite is the case. The Fragment’s presentation of author (Luke) and gospel  – in particular the parenthetical insertion in l. 7 concerning autopsy of “the Lord in the flesh” – 111  “La manière dont Luc a rédigé son évangile est décrite par Chromace dans des termes qui semblent aussi s’inspirer du CM (qui dépend lui-même de Lc 1,1–4). On comparera les lignes 7–8 du CM: ‘et c’est pourquoi, selon ce qu’il avait pu obtenir (comme information), il a commencé son récit à partir de la naissance de Jean’ et le Prologue (2,30–34): ‘et il a écrit l’évangile sous son nom, en racontant depuis le début l’ordre des faits, selon ce qu’il avait appris par le récit des apôtres, ainsi qu’il l’atteste lui-même en disant: “selon ce que nous ont transmis ceux qui sont depuis le commencement et devinrent serviteurs de la parole”’ (Lc 1,2)” (“La place du Fragment de Muratori,” 633: “The manner in which Luke wrote his gospel is described by Chromatius in terms that also seem to be inspired by the CM (which itself depends on Lk 1,1– 4). Compare lines 7–8 of the CM: “and that is why, according to what he could obtain (as information), he began his story from the birth of John” and the Prologue (2.30–34): “and he wrote the gospel under his name, narrating from the beginning the order of the facts, according to what he had learned from the story of the apostles, as he himself testifies, saying, ‘according to what was transmitted to us by those who were from the beginning and became servants of the word’ [Lk 1,2]”).


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

gives the more ad hoc impression of the two. Strictly speaking, these are the only passages in Chromatius’s Tract. Mat. about Luke held in common with the Fragment. A third similarity, involving Chromatius’s discussion of Matthew is, however, noted by Kaestli.112 In the line immediately prior to the one on Luke, Chromatius writes that Matthew and John were among the twelve apostles who were not only with Jesus prior to his passion, but also spent time with him after his resurrection. According to Chromatius, 1 John 1:1–3 refers to both evangelists: Et Mathaeus quidem uel Iohannes sunt de numero duodecim apostolorum qui cum Domino non solum ante passionem, sed etiam post resurrectionem conuersati cum eo sunt per dies quadraginta.113 Qui de his quae uiderant uel audierant cuncta diligenter enarrant, secundum quod Iohannes in epistola sua testatus est dicens: Sicut audiuimus et uidimus oculis nostris, et manus nostrae scrutatae sunt de Verbo uitae, haec uobis nuntiamus. (prol. 2.23–25) Matthew certainly and John too are numbered among the twelve apostles, who were with the Lord not only before His passion but also kept company with Him for forty days after the resurrection. They carefully reported everything they saw and heard according to which John testified in his epistle, saying: “As we have heard and have seen with our eyes and by our hand have examined concerning the Word of life, these things we declare to you.”114

The MF cites this passage from 1 John in ll. 29–31 with three differences from Chromatius’s citation: (1)  the first two verbs in the series (i. e., audio, video) occur in reverse order (cf. Ep. Apos. 3); (2)  the auditory sensory organ (i. e., aures, “ears”) is explicit; and (3) a different verb describes the action of the hands (i. e., palpo instead of scrutor): quae uidimus oculis nostris et auribus audiuimus et manus nostrae palpauerunt115 haec scripsimus (MF ll. 29–31) What we have seen with our eyes and heard with our ears, and touched with our hands, these things we have written?

Chromatius’s version is closer to the Vulgate in the order of items in a series and absence of the organ of hearing, although the Vulgate differs as to the verb referring to the action of the hands (i. e., perspecto [“examine”] instead of scrutor):  “La place du Fragment de Muratori,” 631, 633. MF places conversatio in exactly this sequence of testimony to the life of Christ: passion, resurrection, conversatio (i. e., post-resurrection period prior to the ascension). 114 Lemarié does not include this passage in his discussion (“Saint Chromace d’Aquilée,” 101– 2); Armstrong follows suit (“Victorinus of Pettau,” 31–32). 115 This verb is attested in this verse at least six times in Jerome’s exegesis. The same verse with scrutatae appears at least five times in Ambrose. The version with palpauerunt seems to have been more successful. They perhaps represent two Vetus Latina variants, the Fragment employing the textual tradition known to Jerome, and Chromatius, the one known to Ambrose. See Walter Thiele, ed., Epistulae catholicae, Vetus Latina 26/1 (Freiburg: Herder, 1956–1969), 246. 112

113 The

C. Analysis


Quod fuit ab initio quod audivimus quod vidimus oculis nostris quod perspeximus et manus nostrae temptaverunt de verbo vitae. (Vulgate)

Most importantly, however, as noted, the Fragmentist cites the passage with respect to John (the evangelist), whereas Chromatius applies it to both Matthew and John.116 A fourth and final parallel noted by Kaestli117 follows Chromatius’s discussion of Luke (Tract. Mat., prol. 3.35–40). It is a part of his regula fidei concerning the Four Gospels: Horum igitur quattuor euangelistarum firma et indemutabilis auctoritas est, quia uno principali omnia conscripserunt, quorum licet certa ratione uaria principia doceantur, in nullo tamen sibi dissentiunt, quia unus omnium idemque fidei sensus est de incarnatione Domini, de natiuitate, de passione, de resurrectione, de gemino quoque eius aduentu. (Tract. Mat., prol. 3.35–40) Therefore, the authority of these four evangelists is firm and unchangeable, since they drew up all things by one sovereign [Spirit] of which, although their diverse beginnings (or “doctrines”) are taught according to a fixed rationale, nevertheless in nothing do they disagree among themselves, for faith has one and the same meaning of all things concerning the incarnation of the Lord, concerning the nativity, concerning the passion, concerning the resurrection, and also concerning his twofold coming.

The regula fidei in the MF (ll. 16–23) reads: Et ideo licet varia singulis evangeliorum libris principia doceantur, nihil tamen differt credentium fidei, cum uno ac principali spiritu declarata sint in omnibus omnia: de nativitate, de passione, de resurrectione, de conversatione cum discipulis suis, ac de gemino eius adventu. … although various principles may be taught in the individual books of the gospels, nevertheless, the faith of the believer differs in nothing since all things have been declared in all [gospels] by a single and sovereign spirit concerning the nativity, concerning the passion, concerning the resurrection, concerning association with his disciples, and concerning his double arrival.

116 Kaestli acknowledges both the different version and application: “S’inspirant sans doute du CM (lignes 29–31), Chromace cite le témoignage de I Jean 1,1–3 (sous une forme différente), en le rapportant aux évangiles de Matthieu et de Jean: ‘Eux qui racontent avec soin toutes les choses qu’ils avaient vues ou entendues, selon ce qu’atteste Jean dans son épître en disant: “Ainsi ce que nous avons entendu, et ce que nous avons vu de nos yeux, et ce que nos mains ont palpé concernant la Parole de vie, cela nous vous l’anonçons” (2,21–24)’” (“La place du Fragment de Muratori,” 633). 117  “La place du Fragment de Muratori,” 631–34.


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

Table 8 assists our comparison of these two passages. Table 8. Regulae fidei MF ll. 16–23

Chromatius, Tract. Mat., prol. 3.35–40

Et ideo licet varia singulis evangeliorum libris principia doceantur, nihil tamen differt credentium fidei, cum uno ac principali spiritu declarata sint in omnibus omnia: de nativitate, de passione, de resurrectione, de conversatione cum discipulis suis, ac de gemino eius adventu.

Horum igitur quattuor euangelistarum firma et indemutabilis auctoritas est, quia uno principali omnia conscripserunt, quorum licet certa ratione varia principia doceantur, in nullo tamen sibi dissentiunt, quia unus omnium idemque fidei sensus est de incarnatione Domini, de nativitate, de passione, de resurrectione, de gemino quoque eius adventu.

As Table 8 shows, parallels include individual words and phrases and, in particular, the four conventional elements of rules of faith in the same order (de nativitate, de passione, de resurrectione, de gemino … eius adventu).118 Moreover, the missing element (de conversatione cum discipulis suis) Chromatius places in the same sequence of testimony to the life of Christ as the MF (l. 22) in the previous section (Tract. Mat., prol. 2.20–25, see above): passion, resurrection, conversatio (= post-resurrection period prior to the ascension). Kaestli regards this passage as Chromatius’s most obvious borrowing from the Fragment. Both writers, he argues, present the four evangelists as moved by a single sovereign power in their composition of the gospels, even if their teachings encompass differences.119 However, the number of verbal parallels may be misleading. While these two excerpts utilize many of the same words and phrases, their points are different – one might even say, opposed.120 Chromatius speaks about  See Zahn for ancient literature citing the double return (Geschichte, 2:44 n. 2).  Kaestli points out that Chromatius echoes this belief twice elsewhere in this tractate: “L’emprunt le plus évident au CM concerne l’affirmation sur l’accord des quatre évangélistes: ils ont écrit toutes choses mus par une unique puissance souveraine (ou, selon la leçon d’un des quatre manuscrits: par un unique Esprit souverain), même s’ils enseignent des commencements différents (cf. CM, lignes 16–23 et Prologue 2,35–40). Chromace fait encore écho à cette même affirmation dans deux autres passages. (a) Prologue 5,70–73: les quatre animaux d’Ezéchiel 1,10 sont ‘la figure des évangélistes: bien qu’ils soient représentés par un visage différent à cause de la diversité du commencement de chacun, leur prédication cependant n’a pas de différence (quamuis differenti uultu ostendantur pro uarietate uniuscuiusque principii, indifferens est tamen eorum praedicatio).’ (b) Prologue 6,106–112: Jean, qui vient après quant au temps et à l’ordre de la rédaction, occupe la première place quant à la foi, parce qu’il a reposé sur la poitrine du Seigneur et a eu connaissance des arcanes du mystère divin. ‘Mais que Jean soit préféré en raison de la foi, cela ne porte pas préjudice aux autres évangélistes, puisque tous, arrosés par un seul et même Esprit (uno eodemque Spiritu rigati), ont écrit de manière nécessaire et parfaite au sujet du Seigneur, en vue de la parfaite instruction de l’Église’” (“La place du Fragment de Muratori,” 633–34). 120  Overarching ideas (i. e., passion, resurrection, appearance, and promise) are traced to biblical texts represented in 1 Cor 15:3–8 and Acts 1:21–22. 118 119

C. Analysis


the evangelist’s “authority” (auctoritas) regarding it as “firm” (firma) and “unchangeable” (indemutabilis). Although various principia (“principles” or “beginnings?”)121 are taught, he admits of no disagreements among the gospels (in nullo tamen sibi dissentiunt) because each evangelist understood the same thing with regard to the incarnation, passion, resurrection, and double return. His explanation for the coherence across evangelists is that they are guided by one faith (fides). In contrast, the Fragment treats books rather than authors. It admits disagreements among their principia (“principles” or “beginnings”), but states that such variations need not weaken the faith of any believer (licet varia singulis evangeliorum libris principia doceantur, nihil tamen differt credentium fidei) because one sovereign spirit (as opposed to one guiding faith) revealed all four gospels.122 Furthermore, what the sovereign spirit revealed pertains not just to the incarnation, passion, resurrection, and double return, but also to the Lord’s association with his disciples, an event that is presented differently in Chromatius and is reminiscent of Origen.123 Thus, apart from the ubiquitously available package of four elements in their rules of faith – nativity, passion, resurrection, second advent – the two statements by Chromatius and the MF have substantial differences. We also note that, although both texts cite 1 John 1 and a regula fidei in near proximity to each other, the order is reversed: the citation of 1 John 1 follows the regula fidei in the Fragment (regula fidei in MF ll. 19–26; 1 John 1, in MF 121 Principia is ambiguous, denoting either “principles” or “beginnings,” as in the different early chapters of each gospel, i. e., baptized by John the Baptist (Mark 1), descended from Abraham (Matt 1) or Adam (Luke 3), or present with God at the creation of the world (John 1). See Kuhn, Das Muratorische Fragment, 68–69. The word principia arises in discussions of the four bestial/angelic symbols of the evangelists based on the beginning of their gospel: the man for Matthew, the lion for Mark, etc. See p. 38 n. 159 above. 122  On spiritu, see Lemarié, “Saint Chromace d’Aquilée,” 102. 123  Cf. Origen, Princ., pref. 4. Discussion in Kuhn, Das Muratorische Fragment, 56. Kaestli argues that Chromatius borrows from the MF (ll. 20–23) the constitutive elements of the rule of faith (Prologue 3.39–40 and CM 20–23) with the exception of de conuersatione cum discipulis suis. Since a similar phrase appears in the section of Chromatius’s prologue dedicated to Matthew and John, Kaestli believes Chromatius saw it in the MF and applied it exclusively to the two disciples who met Jesus in the flesh. He explains: “Chromace emprunte au CM l’énumération des éléments constitutifs de la foi qui se rencontrent dans les évangiles (cf. Prologue 3,39–40 et CM 20–23), à l’exception d’un seul, ‘les entretiens avec ses disciples (de conuersatione cum discipulis suis).’ Mais auparavant (2,18–21), il a précisé que les évangélistes Matthieu et Jean ‘sont du nombre des douze apôtres qui ont été avec le Seigneur non seulement avant sa passion, mais qui se sont aussi entretenu avec lui après sa resurrection pendant quarante jours.’ On a la nette impression que Chromace a achoppé sur la ‘conuersatio cum discipulis suis’ du CM (mentionnée de manière insolite entre la résurrection et la double venue) et qu’il a cherché à l’expliquer en la réservant aux deux seuls évangélistes qui ont ‘vu le Seigneur dans la chair’” (“La place du Fragment de Muratori,” 633). Chromatius’s relationship with Rufinus may have facilitated reliance on no longer extant texts by Origen.


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

ll. 29–31), whereas the citation of 1 John 1 precedes the regula fidei in Chromatius (1 John 1 in Tract. Mat., prol. 2.23–25; regula fidei in Tract. Mat., prol. 3.35–40). Furthermore, 1 John 1 is the only citation in the Fragment, whereas Chromatius incorporates more than a dozen citations from both the Jewish and Christian scriptures in his tractate. If we add this parallel to the three discussed above, no individual correspondence between the MF and Chromatius prologue to Tract. Mat. is strong enough to establish literary, let alone directional reliance (i. e., Chromatius’s reliance on the Fragment). Indeed, the contradictory application of some of the agreements might recommend an argument against direct borrowing.124 Individually, the parallels suggest that both writings reflect a single topos about the reliability of the gospels utilizing different versions of the same prooftext. Cumulatively, however, the verbal parallels are significant; and, looking across Chromatius’s oeuvre more can be found. For example, his Sermo 21 contains the sweet-bitter motif cited from Rev 10:9–11 (cf. MF ll. 67–68).125 Chromatius offers two interpretations of this motif. The first relates to persecution-preaching: preaching is sweet, but it gives rise to something bitter, persecution, although this persecution also turns out to be sweet because it brings the glory of martyrdom. The second interpretation relates the pair (sweet-bitter) to heresy and faith, specifically the faith associated with John’s gospel. In this context, Chromatius mentions Photinus, then Arius, then all heretics, arguing that they are a source of bitterness which John opposes. Similar to the MF’s emphasis on John, Chromatius specifies, furthermore, that John was given the Fourth Gospel to eat: Liber enim ille quem accepit edendum, liber erat euangelii, quem postea scripsit. The idea that John ate the book which he later composed as the Fourth Gospel might reflect a pun within the Latin vocabulary.126 The meaning of edendum: edo (short e) means “to eat,” but edo 124  See Donatien De Bruyne, Sommaires, divisions et rubriques de la Bible latine; idem, Préfaces de la Bible latine (Namur: Godenne, 1920). Both were recently reprinted as: D. De Bruyne, Summaries, Divisions and Rubrics of the Latin Bible, Studia Traditionis Theologiae 18 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2014); idem, Prefaces of the Latin Bible, Studia Traditionis Theologiae 19 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2015). A valuable web resource for such an investigation is www.vetuslatina. org/paratext. Similar parallels also exist with e. g., Jerome, Comm. Matt., praef., ll. 34–39 as Lietzmann recognized and, therefore, included Jerome’s text beneath the Fragment in his publication (Das Muratorische Fragment, 10–11). Jerome writes: Tertius Lucas medicus, natione Syrus Antiochensis, cuius laus in evangelio, qui et ipse discipulus apostoli Pauli in Achaiae Boeotiae (oder Bithyniae) que partibus volumen condidit, quaedam altius repetens, et ut ipse in prooemio confitetur audita magis quam uisa describens (as cited by Lietzmann, 10). 125 Chromatius, Serm. 21.2–3 (ed. Étaix and Lemarié, 97–98); cf. Ambrosiaster in Quaest. 72, 76 (ed. Souter, 129–30). See Chapter 7 (below). 126  See also Tract. Mat., prol. 1. Whereas Chromatius places the inspiration for the Fourth Gospel during John’s exile on Patmos, but the composition of the gospel following his exile, so presumably in Ephesus. Contrast Prochorus’s version of the Acta Iohannis (ed. Junod and Kaestli, 2:741–42, esp. 742 n. 2). On the redaction of the Fourth Gospel as given in the Syriac

C. Analysis


(long e) means “to write, compose, utter, publish”: “The book that he received to eat/publish.” A few lines later, Chromatius writes, sic nomine suo librum euangelii scripsit (“He wrote the book of the gospel in his own name”), a claim that the MF makes about both John (l. 15) and Luke (l. 5).127 The related honey-poison motif, including their “mixture,” also occurs in Tract. Mat. 14.3: In quo cognoscimus antiquam eius et usitatam uersutiam, semper ut fallere possit, malis suis bona miscere et uenena sua mellis dulcedine temperare. … Immiscuit uerbis diuinis uerba nequitiae suae, ut per dulcedinem mellis uenena mortis infunderet.128 Although the manuscripts assembling Chromatius’s sermons are unusually late (12th–13th century), testimonies and excerpts from the tractates are attested in the ninth and tenth centuries at Bobbio.129 Therefore, the abbey must have held copies of the tractates before the ninth century. While the precise nature of their connection to the Fragment is difficult to say, the same three options applied to the BPs are available: (A) Chromatius used the MF, which Lemarié, Kaestli, and other scholars accept; (B) Chromatius and the Fragmentist relied on a common source or tradition; and (C) the Fragmentist utilized Chromatius as a source. Close examination of the verbal correspondences in their individual contexts demonstrate some challenges to Option A. Of four parallel segments none is independently cogent; collectively, however, the two texts more than simply interact on the reliability of the Four Gospels, utilizing similar ecclesiastical language to express compatible but unique views. The fact that all of the other external analogues of the MF seem to draw on prefatory material – prefaces to Paul, a preface to Matthew, prefaces to Luke – may commend Option C, that the MF was composed on the basis of a compilation of biblical prefaces that included the tractates of Chromatius.130 This solution might also account for the stratigraphy version of the Acts of John, see the introduction of Junod and Kaestli, Acta Iohannis, 2:707. Concerning the MF in this context, see 713 n. 4. 127  Chromatius, Serm. 21.2 (ed. Étaix and Lemarié, 98, ll.  34–35). With thanks to Jeremy Thompson for this information. 128  Ed. Étaix and Lemarié, 253, ll.  76–90 (“In this we recognize his old familiar cunning, always able to deceive, to mix good things with his own wicked things and to temper his poisons with the sweetness of honey. … He mixed the words of his wickedness with divine words to infuse the poisons of death with the sweetness of honey”). Further metaphors include sweetness as snare (Eccl 10:1) (Tract. Mat. 35.5) and wild honey (natural law) vs. domestic honey (Christian faith) (Tract. Mat. 9.2). Although Chromatius does not demonstrate a marked interest in number symbolism, he notes that seven implies power as evidenced by the number of Samson’s locks (cf. Judges 13–16), the sevenfold Spirit, and churches (Rev 1:20; 5:6, respectively) (Tract. Mat. 7.2). Similar to the MF, he also juxtaposes heretics and catholics (e. g., Tract. Mat. 31.1.4.; Serm. 2.5) and attributes Wisdom to Solomon (although not Solomon’s friends) (Tract. Mat. 49.1). 129  Raymond Étaix, “Nouvelle edition des sermons XXI–XXII de saint Chromace d’Aquilée,” RBén 92 (1982): 105–10; Joseph Lemarié, “‘Chromatiana’ apport de nouveaux témoins manuscripts,” RBén 98 (1988): 258–71. 130  Early textual evidence for Chromatius comes in the form of excerpts for homiliaries and in scriptural and other reading aids. Until the modern period, scholars knew only seventeen


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

of the text, different parts reflecting different dates. Such a composition might have taken place early in the fifth century, when a new papal language impinged on its style. More will be said on this below (Chapter 7).

Anti-Marcionite Gospel Prologues Similar views on Luke to those of Chromatius and the Fragment can be found in the anti-Marcionite or early/old Latin prologues – brief introductions to the gospels of Mark, Luke, and John.131 No prologue exists for Matthew. Donatien de Bruyne was first to characterize them as “anti-Marcionite.”132 With the exception of the prologue to John, the others lack any explicitly anti-Marcionite statement. The earliest witness to the prologues is the tenth-century Latin manuscript Codex Toletanus.133 They also appear in a few dozen Latin Bible manuscripts. The prologue to Luke is extant in Greek (Athens 91), possibly suggesting that all were originally composed in Greek. They appear to have been composed individually, not as a group by a single author. While a date in the second half of the fourth century is likely for the prologues to Mark, John, and the second part

treatises on Matthew and one homily on eight of the beatitudes (counted as an eighteenth treatise). In 1969, Joseph Lemarié discovered and published thirty-eight sermons (Sermons, by Chromatius of Aquileia, 2 vols., SC 154, 164 [Paris: Cerf, 1969–1971]. Cf. R. Étaix and J. Lemarié, eds., Opera, by Chromatius of Aquileia, CCSL 9A (Turnhout: Brepols, 1974). The CCSL supplement (1977) contains a “compilation sermon” from an early medieval homiliary which is, in Robert McEachnie’s estimation, “a greatest hits of ancient preachers including Ambrose, Jerome and Chromatius” (“A History of Heresy Past: The Sermons of Chromatius of Aquileia, 388–407,” Church History 83 [2014]: 273–96, here: 277 n. 7, referring to Spicilegium ad Chromatii Aquileiensis Opera, ed. and trans. R. Étaix and J. Lemarié, CCSL 9A [Turnhout: Brepols, 1977]). See also Robert McEachnie, Chromatius of Aquileia and the Making of a Christian City (New York: Routledge, 2017), 4; Megan H. Williams, “Chromatius and Jerome on Matthew,” in Chromatius of Aquileia and His Age, ed. Pier Franco Beatrice and Alessio Persic (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), 193–226, here: 196 n. 5. 131  With the exception of reference to circumcision in Galatians (Galatae sunt Graeci. hi verbum veritatis primum ab apostolo acceperunt, sed post discessum eius temptati sunt a falsis apostolis, ut in legem et circumcisionem verterentur. hos apostolus revocat ad fidem veritatis scribens eis ab Epheso), the traditions of the Marcionite Prologues to Paul’s letters share almost nothing in common with the Fragment. For the Latin text see De Bruyne, “Les plus anciens prologues latins des Évangiles,” RBén 40 (1928): 193–214; also idem, “Prologues bibliques d’origine marcionite,” 1–16; Harnack, “Der marcionistische Ursprung der ältesten VulgataProloge zu den Paulusbriefen,” ZNW 24 (1925): 204–17; idem, “Die marcionitischen Prologe zu den Paulusbriefen, eine Quelle des Muratorischen Fragments,” ZNW 25 (1926): 160–62. 132  De Bruyne, “Les plus anciens prologues latins des Évangiles,” 211–14. 133  Codex T (perhaps, a tenth century manuscript) contains the Comma Johanneum (1 John 5:7) in the same location as Codex Cavensis (i. e., following v. 8). Both manuscripts have important features in common with the Muratorian Codex, not limited to the Comma.

C. Analysis


of Luke, the first part of Luke may have been written earlier.134 Lee McDonald believes that the Lukan prologue may have circulated independent of the others.135 The prologue to John has nothing in common with the Fragment. The prologue to Luke, however, possesses some verbatim agreement (bold font below): Lucas Antiochensis Syrus, arte medicus, discipulus apostolorum, postea vero Paulum secutus est usque ad confessionem eius, serviens Domino sine crimine. Uxorem numquam habuit, filios numquam procreavit, LXXXVIIII annorum obit in Bithynia, plenus spiritu sancto. Igitur cum iam descripta essent evangelia, per Mattheum quidem in Iudaea, per Marcum autem in Italia, sancto instigatus spiritu in Achaiae partibus hoc descripsit evangelium, quod non tantum ab apostolo didicerat, qui cum domino in carne non fuit, sed a ceteris apostolis magis, qui cum domino fuerunt.136 Luke was a Syrian from Antioch, a physician by training, and disciple of the apostles; but, afterwards, he followed Paul right up until his confession [i. e., death], serving the Lord without blame. For he never had a wife and begat no sons. He died at age 89 in Bithynia, filled with the holy spirit. Therefore, when the gospels had been written already – by Matthew who was in Judea and by Mark, in Italy – prompted by the Holy Spirit he [Luke], being in the regions of Achaea, wrote this gospel, which he had not only learned from the apostle who was not with the Lord in the flesh, but more from the other apostles who were with the Lord.

Similarities include that Luke was a physician and companion of Paul – both claims deducible from the NT (Col 4:14 [Λουκᾶς ὁ ἰατρὸς ὁ ἀγαπητὸς], Phlm 24 [… Λουκᾶς, οἱ συνεργοί μου], respectively). Each witness refers to not being with the Lord “in the flesh,” but in the case of the anti-Marcionite prologue it applies to Paul (cf. 1 Cor 9:1), whereas in MF ll. 6–7 it applies to Luke. Other differences include absence in the prologue of any reference to Luke living after the ascension of Christ, writing from his own opinion, or beginning his narrative with the birth of John the Baptist.

134  Koester assigns the first half of this Lukan prologue to the second half of the second century and the rest of the Anti-Marcionite Prologues to the second half of the fourth (Ancient Christian Gospels: Their History and Development [London: SCM, repr. 1990], 243, citing R. G. Heard, “The Old Gospel Prologues,” JTS 6 [1955]: 1–16). Heard argues that parallels to Irenaeus, rife in the second half of the Prologue to Luke, are absent in the first paragraph, possibly suggesting an earlier origin (9–10, 16). He also notes parallels between ll. 23–25 of the Prologue and MF l. 8 (beginning with the birth of John). 135 Lee Martin McDonald, “Anti-Marcionite (Gospel) Prologues,” ABD 1:262–63. 136 Jürgen Regul, ed. Die antimarcionitischen Evangelienprologe, Vetus Latina 6 (Freiburg: Herder, 1969), 16 (Greek), 30–33 (Latin text), 197–265 (commentary on Lukan prologue, here: “III” (32), including one emendation (quod non tantum … domino fuerunt) from S2.3 (33). There are multiple versions of the individual prologues with significant differences complicating scientific comparison. Emphasis in ET is mine.


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

Monarchian Prologues The Monarchian Prologues reflect similar ideas. Once dated to the first half of the third century, until John Chapman and Ernest Charles Babut definitively connected them with Spain, these prologues were thought to have been written in Monarchian circles in Rome.137 Most today regard this set of prologues as a Priscillian product of the end of the fourth or beginning of the fifth century.138 Hahneman does not consider these witnesses at length since the arguments dating these texts to the second century had evaporated by the time that he wrote his book.139 The pertinent section of the Monarchian prologue on Luke reads as follows: Lucas Syrus natione Antiochensis, arte medicus, discipulus apostolorum, postea Paulum secutus usque ad confessionem eius serviens deo sine crimine. nam neque uxorem umquam habens neque filios, LXXIIII annorum obiit in Bithynia, plenus spiritu sancto. qui cum iam descripta essent evangelia per Matthaeum quidem in Iudaea, per Marcum autem in Italia, sancto instigante spiritu in Achaiae partibus hoc scripsit evangelium, significans etiam ipse in principio ante alia esse descripta.140 Luke, a Syrian by nationality, an Antiochene,141 a physician by training, a disciple of the apostles, afterward followed Paul up until Paul’s confession [i. e., death], serving God without blame. For, having neither a wife nor sons, he died in Bithynia at age seventyfour, filled with the holy spirit. When the gospels had already been written by Matthew in Judea and Mark, in Italy, he, being in the regions of Achaia, wrote this gospel through the prompting of the holy spirit, he himself also signifying at the beginning [of his gospel] that others had been written before.

 Peter Corssen, Monarchianische Prologe zu den vier Evangelien: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Kanons (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1897), 5–11. 138  Johannes Quasten, Patrology, 4 vols. (Westminster, MD: Newman; Utrecht: Spectrum, 1950), 2:211. Cf. Alexander Sand, “Prologue (to Books of the Bible),” in Dictionary of Early Christian Literature, ed. Siegmar Döpp and Wilhelm Geerlings (New York: Crossroad, 2000), 502. 139  Hahneman explains, “This prologue [Monarchian], which used to be assigned to the first half of the third century (Corssen), is now thought to have been composed at the end of the fourth (Chapman). The so-called anti-Marcionite prologue to Luke, previously dated between 160 and 180 (De Bruyne and Harnack), is now also thought to be much later, either third c. (Heard) or late fourth (Gutwenger); and there are several indications that the ‘Monarchian’ prologue previously thought dependent upon it (De Bruyne, Harnack, Heard) is really its basis (Gutwenger)” (Muratorian Fragment, 195 n. 27, referring to E. Gutwenger, “The AntiMarcionite Prologues,” TS 7 [1946]: 393–409 and Heard, “Old Gospel Prologues,” 1–16). 140  Latin text: Lietzmann, Das Muratorische Fragment, 14 taken from Corssen, Monarchianische Prologe zu den Vier Evangelien, 5–11. 141 The first reference to Luke as Antiochene is Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.4.6 (cf. Jerome, Vir. ill. 7) perhaps based on the D-text of Acts 11:28 which reads after “Antioch”: “There was abundant joy, and when we were gathered together …” implying that the author was first present in the narrative in Antioch (Pervo, Acts, Hermeneia [Minneapolis: Fortress, 2008], 296). Sometimes Luke is identified as Lucius of Cyrene a prophet or teacher from the church in Antioch (Acts 13:1). 137

C. Analysis


Similarities shared with the Fragment (bold above) include that Luke was a physician, companion of Paul, and author of a gospel. Absent is any reference to Luke or Paul being with the Lord “in the flesh.” Absent also are the claims that Luke lived after the ascension of Christ, wrote from his own opinion, and began his narrative with the birth of John the Baptist. Table 9 offers a comparison of the anti-Marcionite and Monarchian prologues on Luke. Among them, some form of literary reliance is possible. For example, the Anti-Marcionite prologue (left column) could have relied on the Monarchian prologue or an archetype (right column) interpolating toward the end the claim, distinct from Chromatius, Tract. Mat., prol. 1.27–28, that Paul never saw the Lord in the flesh (underlined). Table 9. Lukan Prologues Anti-Marcionite Prologue to Luke

Monarchian Prologue to Luke

Est quidem Lucas Antiochensis Syrus, arte medicus. ut eius scripta indicant, Greci sermonis non ignarus fuit. discipulus apostolorum, postea vero Paulum secutus est usque ad confessionem eius, serviens domino sine crimine, nam neque uxorem unquam habuit, neque filios procreavit. LXXXVIIII annorum obiit in Boeotia, plenus spiritu sancto. cui igitur cum iam descripta essent evangelia, per Mattheum quidem in Iudaea, per Marcum autem in Italia, sancto instigatus spiritu in Achaiae partibus hoc descripsit evangelium,

Lucas Syrus natione Antiochensis, arte medicus, discipulus apostolorum, postea Paulum secutus usque ad confessionem eius serviens deo sine crimine. nam neque uxorem umquam habens neque filios, LXXIIII annorum obiit in Bithynia, plenus spiritu sancto. qui cum iam descripta essent evangelia per Matthaeum quidem in Iudaea, per Marcum autem in ­Italia, sancto instigante spiritu in Achaiae partibus hoc scripsit evangelium,

quod non tantum ab apostolo didicerat, qui cum domino in carne non fuit, sed a ceteris apostolis magis, qui cum domino fuerunt, [Chromatius of Aquileia: Dominum in carne non vidit, sed quia eruditissimus legis erat quippe comes Pauli apostoli.142] significans etiam ipse per principium ante suum alia esse descripta …143

significans etiam ipse in principio ante alia esse descripta.144

142  “He [Luke] did not see the Lord in the flesh, but, because he was most learned in the law, was certainly a companion of the apostle Paul.” 143  Latin text: Jürgen Regul, Die antimarcionitischen Evangelienprologe, 16, 29–35. 144  Latin text: Lietzmann, Das Muratorische Fragment, 14.


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

Summation Table 10 (below) summarizes major similarities of the descriptions of Lukan authorship in the MF, Chromatius, and the anti-Marcionite and Monarchian Prologues. The table demonstrates that the most significant divergence among the four witnesses is between the MF and Chromatius on Luke’s profession.145 The second most significant discrepancy involves whether Luke was an eyewitness to the Lord, although only the anti-Marcionite prologue voices a difference of opinion (Paul versus Luke). Table 10. Lukan Authorship in Four Witnesses Text




Eyewitness to Christ?

1. Fragment 2. Chromatius 3. Anti-Marcionite 4. Monarchian

Luke Luke Luke Luke

Physician Lawyer Physician Physician

Paul Paul Paul Paul

No No No (about Paul)  –

In sum, whereas literary reliance of the anti-Marcionite on the Monarchian prologue or vice versa is probable, the argument that Chromatius knew the Fragment  – that “l’église d’Aquilée possédait donc, aux environs de 400, le Muratorianum”146 – should be held tentatively. Past evaluations emphasize correspondences among the testimonies, but salient differences ought not to be ignored.

D. Conclusion From this investigation of external witnesses to the Muratorian Fragment, a few conclusions can be drawn. First, with respect to the BPs, a literary relationship is clear, but the nature and direction of dependence is not. The BPs witness twentyfour lines in differently ordered segments in four eleventh- and twelfth-centuries codices likely based on an earlier exemplar. One possible explanation of the overlap is that an eighth century figure (not Paul the Deacon) integrated these lines from a source (P#1–4) which he combined with another source (BP#1–2) in MC 349 (siglum C). John of Troia copied it in MC 552 (C1) and, in the twelfth century, Gilbert of Poitiers (MC 235, C2) modified one or both. The Fragment copied the same 24 lines (P#1–4) but expanded them with a different source or set of ad hoc traditions, notably uninterested in Hebrews. The problem is that the concatenation of ideas resulting from the splicing of P#1–4 with BP#1–2 in the BPs is incoherent. 145 See,

however, discussion of this line in Chapter 6 (below).  Lemarié, “Saint Chromace d’Aquilée,” 102.


D. Conclusion


Furthermore, can it be a coincidence that the BPs omit the Fragment’s presentation of the Shepherd of Hermas, which is effectively the dating clause of the MF and arguably the most important part of the text for authenticating the document? The BPs do transmit notices about other works mentioned in the MF which held a doubtful canonical status. Why omit the Shepherd which would lend credence to the whole text? It was not excluded from the BPs for its use of the first person as other first-person passages from the MF appear in the BPs.147 To whom did the redactor of the BPs suppose the first-person plural referred? It seems likely that the passage on the Shepherd did not figure in the model that the redactor possessed. Its textual parallels are, after all, not with the literature of biblical prologues. Definitively reconciling these results given the narrow geographical distribution of all five witnesses and close relationship of the collections at Bobbio and Monte Cassino remains impossible. Parallels with Chromatius’s prologue do not unconditionally establish the MF’s terminus ante quem although they suggest its terminus post quem. Together with the anti-Marcionite and Monarchian prologues, which demonstrate meaningful statistical likeness to each other, all four works share popular elements of Luke’s biography, a few of which (e. g., physician) are scriptural (Col 4:14) or easily deduced from scripture (e. g., companion of Paul). If one assumes that the Fragment was originally written in Greek, attestation of these popular elements increases exponentially, making it imposible to trace them back to a single source. As noted, the external evidence almost all belongs to the genre of biblical prologues.148 It is thus possible that the Fragment is a compilation either drawn from a codex (perhaps biblical, perhaps an aid to divine reading) that contained some of these texts or collected piecemeal from several codices.149 At this point, Table 11 may aid the reader’s evaluation:  On the Fragment’s we-passages, see below pp. 300–2.  To this point may be added Armstrong’s observation that Chromatius’s borrowing could be from the lost prologue of Victorinus of Pettau (“Victorinus of Pettau,” 30–32), regarded as a prologue not just to Matthew – where the possible parallels occur – but to all four gospels. 149 Fourth-century biblical manuscripts often included prologues for the Pauline and other epistles. Three sets reflecting chronological development have been distinguished: (1)  socalled Marcionite (oldest), excluding Hebrews, used by Marius Victorinus and Ambrosiaster; (2)  northern Italian or Rome, after Ambrosiaster but before the Vulgate and consulted by Pelagius; and (3) Primum Quaeritur, prepared as a general preface to the Pauline corpus by the author of the Vulgate and used by Pelagius in a second recension. A fourth prologue attached to Pelagius’s commentary on Romans is early but not written by Pelagius (De Bruyn, Pelagius’ Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, 9–10). According to De Bruyn, “All these various currents  – the concise literal style which was grounded in Latin rhetorical training and corresponded to Antiochene approaches, the theological perspective derived from Origen, the weight of the Latin tradition of North Africa, the older Italian version and the new Vulgate version of the epistles, and the lineaments of interpretation put forward by the prologues to these versions – flowed into the stream of Pauline commentaries at Rome and into the work 147 148


Chapter Five: External Evidence for the Muratorian Fragment

Table 11. The Muratorian Fragment and Biblical Prologues Extant Prologues

Muratorian Fragment

 1 Anti-Marcionite Prologue  2. Monarchian Prologue  3. Chromatius, Tract. Mat. 1

Luke (ll. 2–8) Luke (ll. 2–8) Luke (ll. 2–8) Acts (ll. 34–39) regula fidei (ll. 16–26) 1 John 1 (ll. 29–31)  4. Vulgate Prologue, attributed to Jerome Johannine Legend (ll. 9–15)  5. Prologue, 1 John 1:1–4 Citation of 1 John (ll. 29–31)  6. Euthalius, Prologue to the Fourteen Letters Paul’s Letters (ll. 39–68) of Blessed Apostle Paul  7. Benedictine Prologues Paul’s Letters150 (ll. 39–68) Seven-church Scheme (ll. 47–50, 57–59) Heretic List (ll. 81–85)  8. Prologue (2 Cor), Pelagius, Commentary 2 Corinthians (ll. 54–55) on Paul’s Letters  9. Jerome, Prologue to the Books of Solomon Wisdom (ll. 69–71) 10. Ambrosiaster, Prologue to 2 Corinthians “ecclesiastical ordinance” (ll. 62)

The following four passages in the Fragment have no prologue parallel: Topic

Muratorian Fragment

1. John: singular events 2. John: visor, auditor, scriptor 3. Jude, 2 letters of John 4. 3 Apocalypses, Fraternity Legend

ll. 27–28 ll. 32–33 ll. 68–69 ll. 71–80

The first two passages in the Fragment without a prologue parallel are brief comments about John. Lines 27–28 contain a rhetorical question, expressing unsurprise that John records singular events since he was an eyewitness to the Lord. Similarly, ll. 32–33 declare that John was visor, auditor, and scriptor to all of the Lord’s marvelous works. The third passage expresses (enigmatically) that the church (?) retains the letter of Jude and two letters of John. In contrast to these brief summary statements, the fourth passage is more substantial, receiving three apocalypses, the third being the Shepherd of Hermas, on the basis of the Fraternity Legend. These lines also situate the Fragmentist in Rome, at the time of Pius, or both on which more will be said in the next chapter. of Pelagius” (9–10). There are three versions of Pelagius’s commentary: (1) the authentic commentary of Pelagius (CPL 728); (2) an interpolated recension attributed to Jerome (CPL 759); and (3)  a revised version by Cassiodorus (for Romans) and by his disciples (for the other epistles) (CPL 902), edited under the name of Primasius in PL 68:413–794. Literature on the prologues includes Hermann Josef Frede, “Exkurs 1: Paulus-Prologe,” in Epistulae ad Thessalonicenses, Timotheum, Titum, Philemonem, Hebraeos, Vetus Latina 25/1 (Freiburg: Herder, 1975–1982), 98–119, here: 109 n. 1; Werner Erdt, Marius Victorinus Afer, der erste lateinische Pauluskommentator: Studien zu seinen Pauluskommentaren im Zusammenhang der Wiederentdeckung des Paulus in der abendländischen Theologie des 4. Jahrhunderts, Europäische Hochschulschriften, ser. 23: Theologie, 135 (Frankfurt: Lang, 1980), 198–208. 150  Twenty-four total lines: ll. 42–50, 54–57, 63–68, and 81–85.

Chapter Six

Commentary A. Introduction Extent and Significance of the Parallel Texts Ascertaining the date, authority, and reliability of an ancient text relies heavily on its early attestation. As we have now observed, the Muratorian Fragment encounters serious difficulty in this regard for at least two reasons. First, whether we are thinking of the extant Latin text, a superior Latin exemplar of which the Fragment is a copy or even a paraphrase, or a Greek precursor of which the Fragment is a translation, no convincing ancient outside attestation of the Fragment has been discovered to date. Chromatius and the Benedictine Prologues offer exceptions (see Chapter 5), but only Chromatius is ancient and, as discussed above, his witness is different from the Fragment in ways that are frequently overlooked, and the direction of borrowing is uncertain. Indeed, the idea of borrowing may be entirely inapt. To be sure, various individual traditions represented in the Fragment can be identified in patristic witnesses – the nature of the repetition varying from verbatim to paraphrase, but most of these analogues do not surface until the fourth century. Interpreters of the Fragment have observed these correspondences. Advocates of a second-century date for the Fragment have argued that, although the written records of many of its traditions are traced to the fourth century or later, such ideas were not invented de novo but represent a stage of development in the making for some time.1 Examples include: – Order of the four gospels – Tradition of Luke as doctor and companion of Paul (l. 3–5)2 1  “The evidence for the church having a collection of books (although with the limits not precisely defined) by the end of the second century does not depend on this document and is well established from the writings of Irenaeus, Tertullian, and others apart from its existence. What would be lacking is evidence that someone had attempted to reduce that collection to a list” (Ferguson, “Canon Muratori,” 677). 2  The tradition of Luke as doctor and companion of Paul, although absent from Papias, is present in the fourth century anti-Marcionite Prologues: Est quidem Lucas Antiochensis Syrus, arte medicus (“the holy Luke is an Antiochene, Syrian by race, physician by trade”). The fourthcentury Monarchian Prologues also attest this idea: Lucas, Syrus natione, Antiochensis, arte medicus, discipulus apostolorum, postea Paulum secutus usque ad confessionem eius (see François


Chapter Six: Commentary

– Tradition that neither Paul nor Luke saw Jesus in the flesh (ll. 6–8)3 – Legend about the authorship of the Fourth Gospel (ll. 10–16)4 – regula fidei (ll. 19–26)5 – “Reminiscence of Jerome’s Latin Vulgate”6 – Reference to Acts as treating “all” the apostles (ll. 34–39)7 – Echo of Hermas, Mand. 5.1 (ll. 67–68) – Suggestion that Wisdom was written by Philo (ll. 68–70) – Inclusion of the Apocalypse of Peter (ll. 71–72) – Reference to Miltiades the Montanist (l. 81; cf. Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 5.17.5) – Designation “prophets and apostles” (ll. 79–80)8 Westcott once observed that the Fragment appears to represent excerpts in the manner of certain citations recorded by Eusebius.9 He also characterizes the Fragment as “a summary of the opinion of the Western Church on the Canon, Bovon, Luke 1: A Commentary on the Gospel of Luke 1:1–9:50, Hermeneia [Minneapolis: Fortress, 2002], 9). The Monarchian Prologues are dated to the fourth or fifth century and, like the Fragment, are corrupt. Robert M. Grant says about the anti-Marcionite prologues: “A so-called ‘anti-Marcionite prologue’ to the Gospel of John states that John dictated his gospel to Papias himself; but this highly garbled document is not likely to give us any trustworthy information about either Papias or John. Modern examination of the Prologue places it in the fourth century, or even later” (A Historical Introduction to the New Testament [New York: Harper and Row, 1963], 106); cf. idem, “The Oldest Gospel Prologues,” AThR 23 (1941): 231–45. 3 The Fragment states that Luke did not see Jesus in the flesh, a tradition close to that found in the so-called anti-Marcionite prologue to Luke: quod non tantum ab apostolo didicerat, qui cum domino in carne non fuit, sed a ceteris apostolis magis, qui cum domino fuerunt, significans etiam ipse per principium ante suum alia esse descripta (Regul, Die Antimarcionitischen Evangelienprologe, 33 (note to l. 7). 4  See Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 6–7. Lines 34–39 address the Acts of the Apostles, a text first prominently cited in Irenaeus. The tradition that John wrote to seven churches like Paul (Jerome, Victorinus of Pettau) is attested by Hippolytus (apud Dionysius bar Salibi) and Cyprian of Carthage. Ferguson comments: “all of Sundberg’s references to seven churches are in the West” (“Canon Muratori,” 680). 5  Regula fidei is traced to Tertullian’s phrase in Praescr., although Irenaeus (Haer. 1.1.1 and 3.2.2) also describes Christian beliefs as fundamental, emphasizing an unbroken lineage through the apostolic tradition. 6 I.e., in the citation of 1 John 1:1–4 (ll. 29–31). To be clear, Metzger’s argument is based on a second-century date of a Greek original and a Latin version written sometime “after the beginning of the fifth century” (Canon of the New Testament, 193). Metzger backs his claim with the research of Julio Campos (“Epoca,” 485–96). Campos demonstrates a post-second century date through distinctive “phonetic, graphic, morphological, and lexical features of the Latinity of the Fragment” (193 n. 10). 7 On the paucity of references to Acts in the second century, see Andrew Gregory, The Reception of Luke and Acts in the Period before Irenaeus: Looking for Luke in the Second Century, WUNT 2/169 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003). 8 Cf. e. g., Justin, 1 Apol. 67.3. Cf. Ign., Phil. 9.1; Pol., Phil. 6.3; Did. 11.3. See Denis M. Farkasfalvy, “‘Prophets and Apostles’: The Conjunction of the Two Terms before Irenaeus,” in Texts and Testaments: Critical Essays on the Bible and Early Church Fathers, ed. W. Eugene March (San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 1980), 109–34. 9 See Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 223.

B. Commentary


[adding] but little to what has been already obtained in detail from separate sources.”10 In what follows, we turn to this shared content in Greek and Latin texts in the form of a line-by-line commentary.

B. Commentary Gospels Mark As discussed in Chapter 3, fol. 9v leaves off in the middle of a sentence from Eucherius’s Formulae, and the canon list begins in medias res (as an acephalous text) at the top of fol. 10r with a comment that appears to conclude a discussion of the Gospel of Mark.11 There is no vacant space on either page, but a quire division between the two folios suggests that some pages might have fallen out. Based on references to Luke as the “third” (l. 2) and John as the “fourth” gospel (l. 9), a discussion of Matthew likely preceded a discussion of Mark.12 This order of the Four Gospels, which is assumed to be attested by the missing text, is eastern in origin. Clement of Alexandria ordered the Gospels with genealogies first – either Matthew, Luke or vice versa, but, thereafter, most eastern witnesses order the gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (e. g., Origen, 𝔓45, B, ‫א‬, A, Sinaitic old Syriac and Peshitta versions).13 Western manuscripts and sources, in contrast, prioritize the gospels purportedly written by apostles, that is, Matthew, John, Mark, and Luke.14 Earliest attestation of the eastern ordering in a “western” author is Origen (Comm. Matt. apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6.25.4–6), unless he is

10 Ibid., 236–37. Westcott dates the Fragment “not much later than 170 ce” (215). Cf. Tregelles, Canon Muratorianus, 4 n. ‘c.’ 11 Mark is most likely for the following two reasons: (1) it is not first in any Fourfold Gospel; (2)  the order Mark, Matthew, Luke, John is completely unattested. Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 184; Zahn, Geschichte, 2:14–20. 12  Recent discussions of the Fourfold Gospel include Gallagher and Meade, Biblical Canon Lists from Early Christianity, 32–39; Jens Schröter, From Jesus to the New Testament: Early Christian Theology and the Origin of the New Testament Canon (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013); idem, “The Formation of the New Testament Canon and Early Christian Apocrypha,” in The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Apocrypha, ed. Andrew Gregory and Christopher Tuckett (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 167–84; idem, “Apocryphal and Canonical Gospels within the Development of the New Testament Canon,” EC 7 (2016): 24–46. For ease of reference but without bias as to the actual identities of the evangelists, I refer to each author by the canonical gospel’s name (e. g., Mark etc.). 13  A notable exception is the order presented by the Codex Claromontanus: Matthew, John, Mark, Luke. See discussion in Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 186. 14  Traditions about Matthew and John placed them among the followers of Jesus, whereas traditions about Mark and Luke did not. Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 186.


Chapter Six: Commentary

not to be considered western.15 It is not until the end of the fourth century that the eastern order is accepted in the Latin-speaking west (e. g., by Jerome).16 Line 1 of the MF states: quibus tamen interfuit et ita posuit (“among whom he was, nevertheless, present and set it down thus”). Tregelles helpfully supplies the following small collection of Greek reconstructions and ancient comparanda in his discussion of this opening line (Table 1). Table 1. Tregelles’s Discussion of Early Reconstructions of the Fragment’s First Line17 1. Bunsen (Hertz)18

quibus tamen ipse non interfuit et ita posuit οἷς δὲ αὐτὸς οὐ παρῆν, οὕτως καὶ ἔθηκεν

2. Eusebius, Dem. ev. 3.319 οὐ γὰρ παρῆν ὁ Μάρκος τοῖς ὑπὸ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ λεχθεῖσιν 3. Hilgenfeld20 4. Van


… οἷς δὲ παρῆν, καὶ οὕτως τέθειται. Ea autem quibus interfuit probabiliter non sunt res a Christo gestae, sed Petri de rebus a Christo gestis narrationes, quibus Marcus … interfuit … E verbis, quibus auctor mox de Luca utitur, Dominum tamen nec ipse vidit in carne, clare apparet, eum simile quid de Marco tradidisse et fere sic scripsisse ‘Marcus Dominum nec vidit nec audivit, sed e Petri sermonibus quibus tamen interfuit, narrationem de Christo contextuit.’”

5. Routh22

Hujusmodi quid scripsisse Auctor fragmenti videri possit: Marcus discipulus et interpres Petri juxta quod Petrum referentem audierit (huc usque Hieronymi verba affero, De Viris Ill. c. 8) digessit res gestas a Domino, quibus tamen interfuit, et ita posuit. Sed incertum sit necesse est hujus mutilatae sententiae supplementum.

6. Westcott23

“Et ita, i. e., καὶ οὕτως, even so (as he had heard from St. Peter), without addition or omission. Euseb. H. E. 3.39”

15  There is no attestation of the eastern order in a “western” Latin author prior to Jerome. It surfaces around Jerome and also appears in Augustine (Doct. Christ. 11.12.8) and Rufinus (Comm. in Symb. Apost. 37). Irenaeus employs it in a single passage (Haer. 3.1.1) but more frequently Irenaeus preserves the order: Matthew, Luke, Mark, John (Haer. 3.9.1–11.6, 3.11.7, 4.6.1). See Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 187. 16  The Fragment demonstrates a preoccupation with ordering and might perhaps be read as an argument for the eastern over and against other “western” orderings. 17  Canon Muratorianus, 30. 18  Tregelles cites Analecta Ante-Nicaena, 1:142 (Canon Muratorianus, 30). Note the emendation based on the assumption that Mark was “not” (non) among the disciples of Jesus. 19  Tregelles includes for this reference “p. 121a” (Canon Muratorianus, 30). 20  Der Kanon und die Kritik des Neuen Testaments in ihrer geschichtlichen Ausbildung und Gestaltung, nebst Herstellung und Beleuchtung des Muratorischen Bruchstücks (Halle: Pfeffer, 1863), 39–44. The Greek reconstruction varies somewhat from the version Hilgenfeld published in 1875 (see Appendix G). 21  Janus van Gilse, Disputatio de Antiquissimo Librorum Sacrorum Novi Foederis Catalogo, qui vulgo Fragmentum Muratorii appellatur (Amsterdam: Joannem Muller, 1852). 22  Reliquiae Sacrae (21846) 1:393–434, here: 404. 23  General Survey of the History of the Canon, 184–93, 466–80.


B. Commentary

Metzger supplies the sentence following et ita posuit (“and set down thus”) with the phrase “them in his narrative,” surmising that the missing object of posuit refers to gospel content – sayings, deeds, or both.24 If this line or pericope contained information similar to Papias’s comment on Mark, then the intended object of posuit could be ad hoc speeches by Peter in no certain order, recorded by Mark in his gospel.25 If roughly the same number of lines dedicated to Luke and John were dedicated to Matthew and Mark, and if the original text commenced with a discussion of these gospels, then the Fragment is missing approximately fifteen lines before it picks up in Ambr. I 101 sup. (see Table 2 below).26 Table 2. Distribution of Lines Dedicated to Individual Texts Listed in the Fragment Text(s) 1. Matthew 2. Mark 3. Luke 4. John 5. Acts 6. Regula fidei 7. Paul’s letters

Number of Lines ? >1 8 8 6 10 24

24 Cf. ll. 33–34 omnium mirabilium domini per ordinem (“the Lord’s marvelous deeds, in their order”). 25  Papias associates Mark’s gospel with Peter. According to Papias (apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.39.15), Mark: (1) wrote out of necessity; (2) translated his memories of Peter’s sermons; (3) did not undertake a systematic work; (4) “did nothing wrong”; and (or perhaps, i. e.), (5) did not deliberately falsify information. These claims exhibit a marked defensiveness concerning Petrine authorship of the Second Gospel. From these comments, I infer that doubt surrounded the Markan representation of Peter. Hence, I am inclined to regard Papias as an early witness, with Matthew and Luke, to the difficulties posed by Mark’s depiction of Peter. On this text, see E. Norelli, ed., Esposizione degli oracoli del Signore. I frammenti, by Papias of Hierapolis (Milan: Paoline, 2005), 230–335. Hahneman supposes that the first line of the MF referred to Mark’s presence at an event in Jesus’ ministry (Muratorian Fragment, 184) and understands ll. 6–7 ex opinione conscripset dnm tamen nec ipse vidit in carne et ide prout asequi potuit as a possible reference back to l. 1 concerning Mark (i. e., neither had he met Jesus in the flesh) (184; cf. also 195 where he points out that Megethius knows the tradition that Luke and Mark were not disciples: De recta in deum fide 5; Robert A. Pretty, Adamantius, Dialogue on the True Faith in God, Gnostica 1 [Leuven: Peeters, 1997], 41–42 [806b/5]). Secondarily, Hahneman mentions the possibility that quibus tamen interfuit refers to Peter (184–85): “Paul was mentioned in the narrative material about Luke (l. 3), and Andrew in that about John (l. 14). Perhaps in a similar fashion Peter was mentioned in the narrative material about Mark” (184) – each gospel with an apostolic authority backing it. The association between Mark and Peter is attested in Irenaeus, Haer. 3.1.1; Tertullian, Marc. 4.5; Origen (apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6.25.5); Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 2.15); and Jerome (Vir. ill. 8). Scholars debate whether Justin Martyr refers to Mark as Peter’s or Jesus’s “memoirs” (Dial. 105–6). See T. P. Henderson, The Gospel of Peter and Early Christian Apologetics: Rewriting the Story of Jesus’ Death, Burial, and Resurrection (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011), 9–12. 26 If the discussion began with the Jewish scriptures (see argument of Horbury below), more has been omitted.


Chapter Six: Commentary Text(s) 8. 1 John 9. 2 Spurious Letters 10. Jude, 2–3 John 11. Wisdom of Solomon 12. Apocalypses

Number of Lines 7 5 2 2 10

What may be concluded about the Fragment’s treatment of Mark is conjectural given the limited material. However, one might tentatively surmise that the Fragment is already treating the individual evangelists’ roles as auditor, visor, and/or scriptor, on which more will be said below. Luke Lines 2–8 discuss the Gospel of Luke: tertium evangelii librum secundum Lucan (“The third book of the Gospel according to Luke”). A surprisingly overlooked issue is that the use of secundum with reference to one of the four canonical gospels in this line does not occur in extant literature until the beginning of the third century (200 ce) when Tertullian (ca. 200 ce) and Cyprian (ca. 250 ce) adopt for the Four Gospels the formula used for texts of the Hebrew Bible.27 Tertullian sometimes also uses the idiomatic simple genitive, evangelio Matthaei (Marc. 4).28 Furthermore, the manuscript evidence for Cyprian’s use of secundum is not solid.29 Hartel, editor of the CSEL volume, selects the reading secundum against the frequent variant cata. Even once secundum is in use, H. A. G. Houghton notes the presence of the “archaic” cata in Latin manuscripts (VL 14, [Codex Usserianus primus], an Irish Latin gospel book ca. 600).30 Line 2 refers to Luke as the “third” gospel, suggesting (as above) the order: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.31 The ordinal number (l. 2; cf. l. 9 [John]) is 27 Tertullian: secundum Esaiam (Tertullian, Marc. 4.11; Emil Kroymann, ed., Opera, by Tertullian, CSEL 47.3 [Vienna: Tempsky, 1906], 449); secundum Iohannem (Tertullian, Prax. 12; ed. Kroymann, 246, 16–17); secundum Esaiam, secundum Hieremiam, secundum apostolum; ad Iohannem secundum dominum (Tertullian, Pud. 6; August Reifferscheid and Georg Wissowa, eds., Opera, by Tertullian, CSEL 20.1 [Vienna: Tempsky, 1890], 228). Cyprian: e. g., apud Ezechielem (Cyprian, Quir. 14, ed. Hartel, 1:48, l. 17), but e. g., in euangelio secundum Matthaeum (Cyprian, Quir. 1.10, ed. Hartel, 1:46, 14–15). Cf. the contemporaneous ps.-Cyprianus, De rebaptismate 14 (ed. Hartel, 3:69–92). For a discussion of the Old Latin biblical references including formulae, see C. H. Turner, “Prolegomena to the Testimonia of St. Cyprian,” JTS 6 (1905): 246–70; idem, “Prolegomena to the Testimonia of St. Cyprian, II,” JTS 9 (1907): 62–87; idem, “Prolegomena to the Testimonia and Ad Fortunatum of St. Cyprian, IV,” JTS 31 (1930): 225–46. Cyprian uses dozens of such references in Quir. and Fort. (ed. G. Hartel, Quir. 1:35–184; Fort. 1:317–47). 28  Concerning Acts 21:20–25, cf. secundum Mosem (Irenaeus, Haer. 3.12,15). 29  Turner, “Prolegomena to the Testimonia of St. Cyprian,” 256. 30  The Latin New Testament: A Guide to Its Early History, Texts, and Manuscripts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 65–66, 196; cf. David C. Parker, Codex Bezae: An Early Manuscript and its Text (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 12–13. 31 On the order of the gospels, see above.

B. Commentary


somewhat unusual. Canon lists do not typically contain ordinal references. For example, the anti-Marcionite and Monarchian Prologues containing similar material about the evangelists do not enumerate the gospels with ordinal numbers.32 Papias, too, simply speaks about the author of the gospel without specifying a canonical position. By the fourth century Eusebius reports that Origen (apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6.25) enumerates the first three gospels using ordinal numbers. Amphilochius of Iconium (ca. 380) enumerates the evangelists, although not their gospels, as follows: Εὐαγγελιστὰς τέσσαρας δέχου μόνους,  / Ματθαῖον, εἶτα Μάρκον, οἷς Λουκᾶν τρίτον/ Προσθείς, ἀρίθμει τὸν Ἰωάννην χρόνῳ / Τέταρτον, ἀλλὰ πρῶτον ὕψη δογμάτων.33

Lines 3–8 commence with the tradition also known from Col 4:14 that Luke was a physician: lucas iste medicus. The comment implies, as will eventually be stated, that the writer regards Colossians as canonical and composed by Paul.34 Five additional observations about Luke follow: (1) after Jesus’s ascension (post ascensum Christi, l. 3), Luke traveled with Paul;35 (2) Luke (or Paul) was zealous for the law (quasi ut iuris studiosum, l. 4);36 (3) Luke composed the gospel in 32  The Monarchian prologue to Matthew refers to this gospel as “first”: Matthaus ex Iudaea sicut in ordine primus ponitur; the prologues to John, Luke, and Mark are not enumerated. The earliest reference to the gospels as “books” is perhaps based on Matt 1:1, Βίβλος γενέσεως (Lat. liber generationis). 33  Iambi ad Seleucum, ll. 290–93 apud Gregory of Nazianzus, PG 37:1596; cited from Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 565–66. ET: “Accept only four evangelists, Matthew, then Mark, to which add Luke as third; in time, count John as fourth, but first in sublimity of doctrines” (Eberhard Oberg, ed., Amphilochii Iconiensis Iambi ad Seleucum, PTS 9 [Berlin: De Gruyter, 1969], 38). 34 Henry Joel Cadbury showed that this claim is not subject to proof as the texts incorporate as much legal and nautical as medical language (The Style and Literary Method of Luke, Harvard Theological Studies 6 [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1919]). 35  This is implicit. The phrase post ascensum Christi goes with the verb conscripsit grammatically: “he wrote after the ascension of Christ.” It is nevertheless true that beforehand Luke had been taken on by Paul (pluperfect subjunctive, adsumsisset). 36  The accusative probably points to Luke. The tradition that Luke is the “sacerdotal” evangelist, the priestly one who makes sacrifice (symbolized by the ox), may have given rise to the idea that he knows Jewish law, and hence why he composes by the “rule of law” according to Fortunatianus. Guignard helpfully points out that Fortunatianus claims each evangelist followed a regula in their composition – Luke, the rule of law (“The Muratorian Fragment as a Late Antique Fake?” RevSR 93 [2019]: 73–90, here: 87 n. 47, citing Commentarii in evangelia, praef. ll. 8–12 [Lukas J. Dorfbauer, ed., Commentarii in Evangelia, by Fortunatianus of Aquileia, CSEL 103 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017), 109–11]; ET: H. A. G. Houghton, trans., Commentary on the Gospels: English Translation and Introduction, by Fortunatianus of Aquileia, CSEL 103, Extra Seriem [Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017], “Introduction,” IX–XXIV, here: XV and 1–2). The Fragmentist adopts iuris studiosus from a secular context, adapting it in l. 4 to imply the Jewish law. See Kuhn, Das Muratorische Fragment, 39–41. Fortunatianus implies a different gospel order (Matthew, Luke, Mark, John). Luke observes the “rule of law,” beginning with the priesthood of Zechariah. The passage shares some vocabulary with the MF: e. g., declaratus, conscripsit. Yet Fortunatianus claims John observes the “law of the beginning of the Son of God himself ”


Chapter Six: Commentary

his own name (nomine suo, l. 5); (4) Luke composed the gospel on the basis of “reports,” “beliefs,” or “opinions” (ex opinione conscripsit, l. 6); (5) Luke never saw Jesus in the flesh (dominum tamen nec ipse vidit in carne, ll.  6–7); and, (6) Luke begins his narrative with the birth of John the Baptist (ita et a nativitate Iohannis incipit dicere, l. 8). The tradition of Luke as doctor and companion of Paul, although absent from Papias, is present in various witnesses.37 The occurrence of a similar tradition in Chromatius (bishop of Aquileia in northern Italy from 387–407) helps prompt the hypothesis that Chromatius knows the Fragment.38 The hypothesis is based on a reference in the prologue of his work, Tractatus in Mathaeum (discussed at length in Chapter 5). Chromatius states: Dominum in carne non vidit, sed quia eruditissimus legis erat quippe comes Pauli apostoli in omnibus fuit (Tract. Mat., prol. 2.28–29) (“He [Luke] did not see the Lord in the flesh, but being most learned in the law, he was certainly a companion of the apostle Paul in everything”). Resemblance between the Fragment and Chromatius’s passage is based on the two shared claims that Luke never “saw the Lord in the flesh” and associated with Paul. Similar views are found in the anti-Marcionite and the Monarchian prologues (see discussion in Chapter 5). John In part due to the inclusion of a regula fidei (ll. 16–26), the Fragment’s discussion of Johannine authorship (ll.  27–33) marks a clear emphasis in number

(Iohannis regulam tenens principii ipsius fili dei). Principium here might offer a parallel to MF l. 17. The MF’s use of ius/iuris, the term usually denoting conventional law, is curious. 37  Physician: Irenaeus, Haer. 3.14.1; Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.4.6; Monarchian Prologue (see discussion in Chapter 5). Companion of Paul: Phlm 24; 2 Tim 4:11; Irenaeus, Haer. 3.14.1. However, Irenaeus in Haer. 3.10.1 and 3.14.2 and the Monarchian prologue (discipulus apostolorum) portray Luke as a student of more than one of Jesus’s disciples. Eusebius knows Luke as an eyewitness to the events in Acts possibly deduced from the so-called we-passages – those passages in which the first-person plural suddenly and asystematically interrupts the third-person narrative (16:10–17; 20:5–15; 21:1–18; 27:1–28:16): Λουκᾶς δὲ τὸ μὲν γένος ὢν τῶν ἀπ᾿ Ἀντιοχείας, τὴν ἐπιστήμην δὲ ἰατρός, τὰ πλεῖστα συγγεγονὼς τῷ Παύλῳ, καὶ τοῖς λοιποῖς δὲ οὐ παρέργως τῶν ἀποστόλων ὡμιληκώς, ἧς ἀπὸ τούτων προσεκτήσατο ψυχῶν θεραπευτικῆς ἐν δυσὶν ἡμῖν ὑποδείγματα θεοπνεύστοις κατέλιπεν βιβλίοις, τῷ τε εὐαγγελίῳ, ὃ καὶ χαράξαι μαρτύρεται καθ᾿ ἃ παρέδοσαν αὐτῷ οἱ ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς αὐτόπται καὶ ὑπηρέται γενόμενοι τοῦ λόγου, οἷς καί φησιν ἔτ᾿ ἄνωθεν ἅπασι παρηκολουθηκέναι, καὶ ταῖς τῶν ἀποστόλων Πράξεσιν, ἃς οὐκέτι δι᾿ ἀκοῆς, ὀφθαλμοῖς δὲ παραλαβὼν συνετάξατο. φασὶν δ᾿ ὡς ἄρα τοῦ κατ᾿ αὐτὸν εὐαγγελίου μνημονεύειν ὁ Παῦλος εἴωθεν, ὁπηνίκα ὡς περὶ ἰδίου τινὸς εὐαγγελίου γράφων ἔλεγεν “κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγέλιόν μου” (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.4.6). Charles E. Hill believes that Papias knows this tradition: “What Papias Said About John (and Luke),” 625–29. 38  If not a coincidence that Fortunatianus also associates Luke with the law, it may reflect a local or regional tradition in Aquileia.

B. Commentary


of lines (see Table 2 above).39 In the initial section on this gospel (ll.  9–16), five traditions are represented: (1)  the author of the Fourth Gospel was John (quartum evangeliorum Iohannis ex discipulis, l. 9); (2) John’s fellow disciples and “bishops” urged him to compose his account (cohortantibus condiscipulis et episcopis suis dixit conieiunate mihi, l. 10); (3) John and his disciples fasted for three days (hodie triduo et quid cuique fuerit, l. 11);40 (4) while fasting, John and his disciples received revelations and shared them with one another (revelatum alterutrum nobis enarremus, ll. 11–13); (5) it was revealed to Andrew that John should write down the revelations, after which the others should review what had been written (revelatum Andreae ex apostolis ut, recogniscentibus cunctis, Iohannis suo nomine cuncta describeret, ll. 14–16). No less a scholar than B. H. Streeter refers to this account as “a cock and bull story” – possibly derived from the Acts of John: “not only a work of pure romance, but one which at that date was not even ancient.”41

Excursus: Acts of Timothy Possible comparanda of apostolic apocrypha have not been fully explored, perhaps because of the derision these texts have incurred as invention rather than history. In fact, the Acts of John bears some similarity to the Acts of Timothy, and a striking number of verbal parallels link the MF with the Latin Acts of Timothy (fourth-fifth century ce).42 Sum39  Charles E. Hill argues that the acceptance of the Gospel of John is not seriously at issue anywhere in the Empire in the third and fourth centuries: “Throughout the third and fourth centuries, as the Apocalypse and the two shorter Johannine Epistles suffered from doubts either about authorship or about canonicity, or both, the Fourth Gospel and the First Epistle remained the gold standard for genuineness” (Hill, Johannine Corpus in the Early Church, 464). 40  Chromatius discusses the three-day fasts of both Judith (29.2.2) and Esther (29.2.3) in Tract. Mat. (ed. Étaix and Lemarié, 338, ll. 45, 49); Lemarié and Étaix do not indicate any source for Chromatius’s treatment in this passage. Esther also comes up in the context of fasting in Ambrosiaster, Quaest. 120.4 (ed. Souter, 362). For Chromatius, Susanna also exemplifies fasting (Serm. 35). Cf. the general treatment of fasting in Tract. Mat. 14.1–2; cf. Acts of John (Zahn, Acta Joannis [Erlangen: Deichert, 1880], 154–58); Acts John Pro. 32 (ed. Junod and Kaestli, 2:156–58). 41  Burnett Hillman Streeter, The Primitive Church Studied with Special Reference to the Origins of the Christian Ministry (London: Macmillan, 1930), 205. The passage to which Streeter most likely refers is from the Acts of John (Theodor Zahn, Acta Joannis [Erlangen: Deichert, 1880], 154–58); cf. Acts John Pro. 32. The Acts of John (2.1) also possess a report about John’s death (so-called Metastasis) attested by Chromatius, Serm. 21.4, who includes parallels to the three-day fast of the Johannine legend (see previous footnote). According to Knut Schäferdiek the first attestation of the Acts of John is the Manichean Psalm-book (NTApoc 2:153–56); see also J. K. Elliott, Apocryphal New Testament, 390. With gratitude to Janet Spittler for email correspondence and access to her preliminary English translation appearing in Tony Burke, New Testament Apocrypha, More Noncanonical Scriptures, vol. 3 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, forthcoming). 42  The general emphasis on John in Acts Tim. is consistent with the emphasis in the Fragment. It might be possible to surmise the presence or circulation of this work among north Italian writ-


Chapter Six: Commentary

marizing the relevant episode in Acts Tim.,43 the co-disciples (condiscipulis, ed. Usener, ers of the fourth-fifth centuries from Usener’s two northern late-tenth- and thirteenth-century manuscripts. According to the MF, Timothy received two letters, pro affectu et dilectione. This may be explained by diction within the letters themselves. The word dilectio occurs in 1 Tim 1:2, 14; 6:2; 2 Tim 1:7, 13; 3:10; Tit 1:4; 2:2; affectu in 2 Tim 3:3. The Acts Tim. has no such reference to Timothy. It seems less concerned with canonicity than apostolicity. Still, the desire to link John and Paul is similar (in Acts Tim. through Timothy). According to Claudio Zamagni, at least forty Latin manuscripts have been noted: “Passion (ou Actes) de Timothée. Étude des traditions anciennes et édition de la forme BHG 1487,” in Poussières de christianisme et de judaïsme antiques. Études réunies en l’honneur de Jean-Daniel Kaestli et Éric Junod, ed. Albert Frey and Rémi Gounelle (Prahins: Publications de l’Institut Romand des Sciences Bibliques, 2007), 341– 75, here: 344 n. 12; repr. Claudio Zamagni, Recherches sur le Nouveau Testament et les apocryphes chrétiens (Rimini: GuaraliLAB, 2017), 257–301, here: 263 n. 25. Concannon acknowledges only Usener at (accessed on December 16, 2020). For the Latin, Usener made use of prior editions that themselves depended on several manuscripts and of two new manuscripts from Paris (not studied in person, but only from copies made by his request) (343–45). Zamagni suggests that a new edition of the Latin version is necessary in order to compare the Latin to the Greek in a rigorous way (361). Where the results of Zamagni’s research will inform discussion of the text for years to come, four points are highlighted here. (1) The Greek version is prior to the Latin and was written probably at Ephesus in the mid-fourth century (357). (2) The Latin version seems to depend on a version of the Greek text that is older and closer to the original than all the known Greek versions (361–64). In his edition of the Greek text (365–75), he uses the Latin to help reconstruct or understand the Greek, but unfortunately (for our purposes) not at the points which intersect with the MF. (3) According to Zamagni, the purpose of the text may have been to reconcile rival traditions about the identity of the first bishop of Ephesus: Timothy or John. Eusebius held Timothy to be the first bishop, Irenaeus believed it was John (356–57). In a footnote, Zamagni notes that Irenaeus is mentioned in the text for an idea that can be traced back to Eusebius (357 n. 91). (4) Finally, Zamagni regards the text as a deliberate pseudepigraphon, arguing that the pseudonymous ascription to Polycrates – found in the Latin but not in the Greek – belongs to the Greek original in a primitive version that is no longer attested. He has several arguments, including interpretations of notices about Polycrates in Eusebius and in Jerome, Vir. ill., from which a forger could extract information about the earlier bishop (347, 357). Zamagni supposes that (with other features) it is unlikely that a western Latin writer would choose this person (347). Yet if the notice about Polycrates is in Jerome and Eusebius, knowledge about him circulated in the West in the very late fourth century. In addition, pseudonymous attribution of authorship in the Latin version of the text (Usener) to Polycrates of Ephesus (l. 6), a mid-second century Christian, is difficult to reconcile with the reference (also in the text) to Irenaeus of Lyons, the late second-century Christian bishop. Both references may derive from Eusebius. It may be that the author is trying to backdate the work by invoking a seeming contemporary author to Irenaeus. Contrast the opinion of Meira Z. Kensky, who argues that the text is travel literature advertising Ephesus as a pilgrimage destination. She does not discuss Zamagni’s interpretation of the text as a deliberate forgery or whether the text as pilgrimage propaganda served Latin in the same way as Greek speakers (“Ephesus, Loca Sancta: The Acts of Timothy and Religious Travel in Late Antiquity,” in The Narrative Self in Early Christianity: Essays in Honor of Judith Perkins, ed. Janet E. Spittler, WGRWSup 5 [Atlanta: SB Press, 2019], 91–119). 43 J. H. Crehan argues that biblical papyri help secure a second-century date for Acts Tim. (“The Fourfold Character of the Gospel,” in Studia Evangelica 1, ed. Kurt Aland et al., TU 73 [Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1959], 3–13), but scholars today maintain it was written no earlier than the fourth or fifth century. See, e. g., Cavan Concannon, “The Acts of Timothy,” in New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, ed. Tony Burke and Brent Landau (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016), 1:395–405; Hans-Josef Klauck (The Apocryphal Acts of the Apos-

B. Commentary


l. 29 [cf. l. 31–32], “disciples des disciples” in the words of Junod and Kaestli, 2:714) bring John disordered pages of (what will become) the Synoptic Gospels. John organizes them into three books and then writes a gospel (incorporating details they omitted) in his own name. Citing Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.24.7–13, Junod and Kaestli note how this episode seems to react to concerns about the extent to which the Fourth Gospel harmonizes with the Synoptics. The Latin tradition of the Acts of Timothy in this section (ll. 22–41) has a substantial number of verbal parallels with the MF, notably: conversationes Acts Tim. 9, 11–12, 22 || MF l. 22;44 visor and auditor, Acts Tim. 27 || MF l. 32; condiscipulis Acts Tim. l. 29 || MF l. 10, tles: An Introduction [Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2008], 248–49) dates the text to the fourth or fifth century. Nevertheless, Crehan’s observation (6)  that the date of the death of Timothy on the occasion of the Katagogia (22 January) coincides with Polycarp’s death and commemoration in the rival town of Smyrna could suggest that some of the traditions in this text are older. 44  Cf. Quintilian, Inst. 1.2.4; 6.3.17 (you are the company you keep). As in these passages from the Institutio oratoria, the word conversatio occurs in monastic writings to refer to one’s whole way of life, bearing, or orientation to the world. Conversatio is used several times in Acts Tim. 9, 11–12, and 22, but for the collocation with mores in the phrase conversatio morum: RB 58, 17 in Adalbert de Vogüé and Jean Neufville, eds., La règle de Saint Benoît, 7 vols. (Paris: Cerf, 1972– 1977), 2:630, with commentary at 6:1324–26. In his commentary on the Pauline Epistles, 1 Tim 4:11, Ambrosiaster discusses: conversatione et moribus graves. According to De Vogüé, the origin and meaning of this phrase has engendered much discussion. He supports the position that in the Rule of Saint Benedict the word remains close to the specific sense of conversion, meaning “to enter” or “demand admission to” “religious life” (conversion from lay status). This is based on his comparison of the text with the Rule of the Master. According to the TLL (4:850–53) the word has a broad range of applications. The MF uses this word to refer to a tenet of the regula fidei after the nativity, passion, resurrection, and before the second coming (ll. 16–26). Chromatius uses conversatio in a passage parallel to MF l. 22 (Tract. Mat. prol. 2.20, see Chapter 5 above) denoting the forty days of “association” spent with Jesus after the resurrection and prior to his ascension (Acts 1:4). Chromatius’s usage may, in turn, trace back to earlier Christian authorities. When Justin Martyr refers to Christ (qua God) “conversing” with Moses appearing as fire in a bush, he uses the verb προσομιλέω (ἐν ἰδέᾳ πυρὸς ἐκ βάτου προσωμίλησεν αὐτῷ ὁ ἡμέτερος Χριστóς, 1 Apol. 62). When Tertullian refers to Christ (qua God) interacting with humans including Adam, he uses the verb conversor: ipse enim et ad humana semper colloquia descendit, ab Adam usque ad patriarchas et prophetas, in visione in somnio in speculo in aenigmate ordinem suum praestruens ab initio semper quem erat persecuturus in finem. ita semper ediscebat et deus in terris cum hominibus conversari, non alius quam sermo qui caro erat futurus (Prax. 16:3, [3]). In all three occurrences of this word in Acts Tim., the Greek is πολιτεία, implying both political and custom or character aspects. The TLL’s first citation for the parallel between conversatio and πολιτεία is Rufinus, Hist. 4.7.14. Zamagni translates the Greek term by “les conduites” (Zamagni, “Passion [ou Actes] de Timothée,” 366). Conversatio in Acts Tim. 22 appears to refer to the content of the canonical Acts of the Apostles perhaps suggesting the MF’s intention. However, Acts Tim. refers to Timothy’s life, whereas the MF apparently refers to the post-resurrection Jesus (Concannon, “The Acts of Timothy,” 403 n. “a”). The MF’s list of events in the regula fidei (ll. 16–26) seems chronological. As conversatio (l. 22) follows resurrectio (l. 21), it probably refers to Jesus’s post-Easter appearances over a period of forty days (Acts 1:3). The two advents – incarnation and second coming – discussed after Jesus’s conversatio may have been intended to frame the other elements (nativity, passio, resurrectio, conversatio). The two advents are both Johannine themes, John chapter 1 and John’s Apocalypse, and so this feature may accentuate how the writings of John fit into the New Testament. Interpretation of the MF also depends on how one weighs the parallels with Chromatius. The usual


Chapter Six: Commentary

discipulos l. 32;45 conscripset Acts Tim. 37 || MF l. 6, 75, 83; and singulis l. 37 || MF ll. 28, 36, 46.46 The narrative of the Acts Tim. may also illuminate the MF’s phrase suo nomine (MF ll. 5, 15) and the argument about the concord of the Four Gospels written under the inspiration of one spirit (MF l. 19). Thematic links to the Fragment emerge from these verbal parallels. The Acts of Timothy emphasizes the authority of Timothy as a witness not only to Paul, but also to John. Timothy is described as visor et auditor of John (ed. Usener, l. 27, cf. MF l. 32). John, in turn, “reclined upon the breast of Jesus Christ” (ll. 26–27). The author situates the events after the martyrdoms of Peter and Paul under Nero at the time of their condiscipuli (l. 29, cf. MF l. 10). The text states that Irenaeus of Lyons wrote (conscribere) about John (l. 31). The reference to John’s shipwreck suggests that the author was familiar with other legends of John such as those found in the Acts of John. The redaction of John’s Gospel is initiated by those who followed the disciples of the Lord.47 In other words, they too are condiscipuli. They come to the city of Ephesus to obtain John’s opinion. They bring John fragments of texts recording the miracles of Christ48 that have been written (conscriptas, l. 33, same verb in MF ll. 6, 75, 83), but they do not know their correct order (ordinatim, l. 33, cf. ordo in

meaning of conversatio appears in the Acts Tim., but Chromatius (Tract. Mat., prol. 2.20, see Chapter 5) uses this word to denote the period between the resurrection and ascension. MF l. 22 reads, de conversatione cum discipulis suis. Suis should mean Christ, referring to the forty days after his resurrection (as Chromatius explicitly says) rather than during his ministry. Still, Christ is not discussed by name in the MF leading up to this passage, and in the next line, the pronoun changes to eius (l. 23). It is slightly irregular, but not impossible. 45  The tradition of episcopi requesting the gospel is generally better attested (713, n. 4, with reference to Zahn), but attestation of the MF’s condiscipuli (cf. fratres in the attested historia ecclesiastica) orients the MF’s tradition near this Latin text. Bishops (in this case, of Asia) asking John to write his gospel also has a parallel in the prologue in the Toledo Bible which refers to bishops; see F. Crawford Burkitt, Two Lectures on the Gospels (London: Macmillan, 1901), 90– 94. Cf.  Bacon, “Latin Prologues of John,” 194–217, with reference to the MF: 204, 206, 207, 213– 14; Bernard Orchard and Harold Riley, The Order of the Synoptics: Why Three Synoptic Gospels? (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1987), 150–56. 46  It would be interesting to see if the phrase with singulas is attested in any Greek manuscript, or whether it is only in the Latin, making its relationship to the Muratorian Fragment more noteworthy. 47  Jerome’s reference to the ecclesiastica historia may denote Leucianic traditions (i. e., apocryphal acts such as the Acts of John). As the source for Jerome’s tradition that the fratres ask John to write the Gospel, the ecclesiastica historia is the only witness apart from the MF to mention both the period of fasting and the fratres, and thus may signal ‘apocryphal’or Leucianic elements. It is also curious that a spurious letter from Jerome to Chromatius preserves the name Leucius in connection to apocryphal gospels, specifically to the expunging of non-acceptable elements from these gospels (indirectly connecting Chromatius to this body of apocrypha) (Brandon Hawk, The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Nativity of Mary, Westar Tools and Translations [Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2019], 43–44). Jerome is instructing an author, Chromatius, whose tractates on Matthew involve apocryphal material. Stripping off the most fantastical elements, the MF is more sober than the apocryphal acts from which certain near parallels likely derive. Instead of John pasting the gospels together as in the Acts Tim., he receives divine inspiration after a period of fasting. It adds authority to the text without Dionysiac festivals and shipwrecks. 48  The use of omnes in omnium mirabilium (MF l. 33) may suggest a more inclusive group of the acta including Timothy and perhaps John.

B. Commentary


MF ll. 33–34, 44, 49, 50).49 John arranges what is written into the gospels according to the order (ordinem) of Matthew, Mark and Luke, inscribing (conscripsit, l. 37) their individual names on the top of each (singulas, l. 37, latter part of this statement lacking in the Greek version; cf. MF l. 38, also ll. 16–17 [gospel harmony], 36 [Luke] and 46 [Paul]). For his own gospel, John narrates the divine miracles, even those lacking in the other three gospels (l. 40, cf. MF l. 33 – which may imply miracles omitted in the Synoptics). John puts his own name on this gospel (nomen suum, l. 41; cf. MF l. 15) and eventually goes into exile on Patmos under Domitian (ll. 41–44). In charge as bishop of Ephesus, Timothy publicly condemns the idolatrous festival of Catagogia (contrast MF ll. 84–85 Cataphrygum),50 on which occasion he is attacked with clubs and stones, killed, and buried at Pion.51 Nerva becomes emperor and John is recalled to Ephesus where he oversees the Christian community as bishop until the reign of Trajan. Finally, the reference to Timothy as erat natione patris Hellinis, matris vero Iudaeae fidelis (Acts Tim. l. 15) suggests that the writer regards Timothy as a Jew. The text of canonical Acts 16:1–3 implies that Timothy was a Gentile, and Jerome and Augustine both understand it in this way (explaining Paul’s need to circumcise him in Acts 16:1–3; although contrast Gal 2:3–5, where circumcision is not required of Gentiles). Shaye Cohen regards Ambrosiaster as the first late antique father to consider Timothy a Jew by birth.52 Although probably incorrect, Ambrosiaster would have done so on the basis of Roman or rabbinic law.53 The parallel regarding Timothy’s Jewish mother and faith may point to a local or regional tradition common to Ambrosiaster and the Acts Tim. Without attesting this tradition, the MF’s close parallels to both Ambrosiaster and the Acts Tim. in other respects suggest that it may have emerged or circulated in an overlapping ambit. Other parallels with Ambrosiaster are discussed in Chapter 7.

The first and second traditions – claiming that (1) John, son of Zebedee, is the author of the Fourth Gospel and (2) John is urged to compose his account by  The verb constituo used of writing or composing (e. g., ll. 14, 40), perhaps “arranging” materials, is well documented. It may be useful for understanding constitutore in MF l. 85. 50  A connection between Catagogiarum (Acts Tim. 47) and Cataphrygum (MF ll. 84–85) may be far-fetched although it is possible that a Latin scribe changed the very unfamiliar word into something more familiar. The word Phrygia could have been triggered by seeing it in line 5 of the Acts Tim., which attributes the whole text to Polycrates. Also, the MF and Acts Tim. refer to Asia in a similarly broad way, recollecting debate between Zahn and Usener about dating this text based on its reference to Lystra in Lyconia, not a separate province until 370 ce (Theodor Zahn, review of Acta S. Timothei, by Hermann Usener [Bonn: Typis Caroli Georgi, 1877], Göttingischen gelehrte Anzeigen [1878]: 97–114, here: 98). An anti-Montanist subtext (women prophesying prompting Timothy’s martyrdom) in Acts Tim. is clear. Cf. esp. 1 Tim 2:12. 51  Mart. Pol. 22, records Pionius as compiler and copyist of the text. In addition, the Passio Sanctorum Pionii et Sociorum Ejus Martyrum relates the martyrdom of Pionius, priest of Smyrna. 52 The relevant line is as follows, although the context is necessary to firmly establish Ambrosiaster’s position (see esp. vel filios Israel circumcidi non vetaret): Timotheus enim erat matre quidem Judaea, patre autem Graeco; unde factum est, ut secundum legem circumcisus infans non esset (H. J. Vogels, ed., Commentarius in epistulas Paulinas, by Ambrosiaster, CSEL 81.1–3 (Vienna: Hoelder–Pichler–Tempsky, 1966), 3:20–21, cf. 27. 53  See Shaye Cohen, “Was Timothy Jewish (Acts 16:1–3)? Patristic Exegesis, Rabbinic Law, and Matrilineal Descent,” JBL 105 (1986): 251–68, here: 259–63. 49


Chapter Six: Commentary

those around him – are present in Clement of Alexandria (apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6.14.7),54 Victorinus (Comm. Apoc. 11.1), and Jerome (Vir. ill. 9).55 In l. 10, the Fragment refers to those urging John to compose his gospel as condiscipulis et episcopis suis.56 Clement of Alexandria refers to them as his γνώριμοι (“pupils,” “acquaintances”).57 In Victorinus’s account episcopi urge John to write. The identity of these bishops is further expanded in Jerome’s account. In De viris illustribus Jerome says that John wrote the gospel against Cerinthus, a gnostic writer of the late first century, and other heretics at the request of bishops in Asia (rogatus ab Asiae episcopis). However, in the preface to his commentary on Matthew, he records a legend from the ‘ecclesiastica historia’ in which John is urged by fratres qualified as “almost all the bishops of Asia then living, and by deputations from many churches” (Asiae episcopis et multarum ecclesiarum legationibus) (Comm. Matt., praef., ll. 46–47).58 Hahneman sums up the evidence succinctly: condiscipulis recalls Clement, but et episcopis suis appears to be later.59 He thus conjectures a line of tradition: The larger question is: what is the relationship between these four different sources? The essential direction of these legends seems to be a later refining of who it was that compelled John to set down his Gospel. Vagueness as to the identity both of Clement’s “γνώριμος” and the “ fratres” of Jerome’s ‘ecclesiastica historia’ may account for the need for further elaboration. With the passage of time, the identity of those who urged John to write his gospel became more important, especially perhaps after the attacks of the alogi. In Victorinus’ telling of the tale, the ‘urgers’ are “bishops from the neighboring cities assembled” and in Jerome, they are more specifically “all the bishops of Asia then living, and by deputations from many churches.” So where does the Fragment’s mention of “his fellow disciples and bishops” (condescipuli et eps suis) fit into this story of literary dependence? The Fragment is probably later than Clement of Alexandria and Jerome’s ‘ecclesiastica historia’ and closer to Victorinus and Jerome, but the Fragment’s duality of ‘bishops 54 τὸν μέντοι Ἰωάννην ἔσχατον, συνιδόντα ὅτι τὰ σωματικὰ ἐν τοῖς εὐαγγελίοις δεδήλωται, προτραπέντα ὑπὸ τῶν γνωρίμων, πνεύματι θεοφορηθέντα πνευματικὸν ποιῆσαι εὐαγγέλιον. 55  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 188–89. 56  See discussion above (pp. 153–54) on Armstrong’s essay. 57  The Latin word recognoscere in MF ll. 14–15, difficult to translate in this context, might be inspired by γνώριμοι, derived as it is from γιγνώσκειν. One does not need a Greek Vorlage of the MF to posit such a connection. Assuming a Greek original, however, J. H. Crehan speculates that, “if the Latin translator of the Greek original had mistaken a passive for an active or middle participle when he put down recognoscentibus, the sense would be that, as in the Acta Timothei, John should make a thorough examination of all the papyri that were brought to him and then write on his own what he thought necessary for completeness. The moral drawn by the writer of the fragment supports such a view, for he goes on to say at once that although the gospels all have different beginnings, that is no matter, since one and the same Spirit set forth omnia in omnibus, all things in all of them, about the essential facts of the life of Christ” (“Fourfold Character of the Gospel,” 8). 58  Comm. Matt., praef., ll. 39–54. Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 190. Hahneman adds that episcopi may correspond to a legend that Clement of Alexandria records in Quis div. 42. 59  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 190.

B. Commentary


and disciples’ is closer to Jerome’s ‘bishops and deputations’ than to Victorinus’ simple “bishops.”60

Another possible way of reviewing this evidence is to argue that in Comm. Matt., Jerome seeks to reconcile the various traditions by unifying them: he labels the entire group as fratres (per the ecclesiastica historia), then qualifies them as “bishops of Asia [per Victorinus] and deputations from many churches [based on Clement’s γνώριμοι].”61 In either case, with Hahneman, the Fragment’s condiscipulis et episcopis suis appears closest to Jerome. As Ton Hilhorst puts it in his discussion of this passage, the point of the tradition is, “projecting an institution of one’s own time, in this case the office of bishop, back into the founding time.”62 The final three traditions (#3–#5 above) involve fasting and revelation. Hahneman points out (contra Armstrong) that, of the sources containing elements of the Johannine legend (Fragment, Victorinus, Jerome, and ecclesiastica historia), the Fragment and the ecclesiastica historia, as recorded by Jerome in the preface of Comm. Matt., “alone mention a fast as preceding the revelation of John’s Gospel.”63 According to Eusebius, Clement of Alexandria refers to John as “urged on by friends and inspired by the spirit” (apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6.14.7),64 and it is this reference to the spirit that may have prompted the legendary expansion. Hahneman deduces that the Fragment’s two elaborations (i. e., two parties urging John to write his gospel plus the fast) “strongly suggest that its version of the legend is later than that of the ecclesiastica historia.”65 ­Table 3 summarizes the elements of the Johannine legend across its sources.

60 Hahneman,

“Victorinus,” 2–3. “deputations” (legiones) is not a clear meaning of γνώριμοι. 62  “Romantic Fantasies: Early Christians Looking Back on the Apostolic Period,” in The Apostolic Age in Patristic Thought, ed. A. Hilhorst (Leiden: Brill, 2004), 28–40, here: 34. Hilhorst goes further: “In its context, however, the mention of bishops is a marginal feature. What the passage is really about is the drastic representation of the gospel’s authenticity. On the one hand, heaven itself ratifies the recording of the gospel by granting the revelation which John solicited. On the other, the apostles, apparently in Jerusalem before departing for their respective missionary regions, endorse the document written down by John with their authority. Obviously, the idea Christians nursed about in their earliest past was one of palpable direction by God and permanent, intimate, cordial and unanimous contacts between the disciples, a continuation so to speak of the gathering in the upper room of Acts 1” (34). He traces this strategy to Cyprian of Carthage (d. 258) (and later authors), Ep. 3.3.1 (Meminisse autem diaconi debent quoniam apostolos id est episcopos et praepositos dominus elegit, diaconos autem post ascensum domini in caelos apostoli sibi constituerunt episcopatus sui et ecclesiae ministros); cf. 67.4.2 (33–34). 63  “Victorinus,” 2. 64  τὸν μέντοι Ἰωάννην ἔσχατον, συνιδόντα ὅτι τὰ σωματικὰ ἐν τοῖς εὐαγγελίοις δεδήλωται, προτραπέντα ὑπὸ τῶν γνωρίμων, πνεύματι θεοφορηθέντα πνευματικὸν ποιῆσαι εὐαγγέλιον. 65  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 190. 61 Although


Chapter Six: Commentary

Table 3. Attestation of the Elements in the Johannine Legend Author/Text



Clement of Alexandria (apud Eus., Hist. eccl.) γνώριμοι


Victorinus (Comm. Rev.)



ecclesiastica historia66



Jerome (Vir. ill.)

episcopi Asiae


Jerome (Praef. Comm. Matt.)

episcopi Asiae et legatio no


condiscipuli et eps


One final observation is that the Fragment’s version of the legend seems incomplete. In the narrative John, the disciple (not one of the Twelve?), exhorts others to fast; and, Andrew, the apostle has a vision that, following the fast, John should record in his own name everything that was revealed.67 It is possible that what is predicted in this line never occurs. We note that the tradition is interrupted by the writer’s insistence that, even when the content of the individual gospels varies, believers can be confident because a single sovereign Spirit revealed all, as this legend of fasting and revelation ostensibly illustrates. One may guess that the Fragmentist supposes that the prediction did occur but, like other places in the Fragment, the abrupt halt adds to an impression that the Fragmentist is switching sources, that is, amassing a collection of excerpts. Finally, the role of Andrew is more likely eastern because of the special prominence that Andrew held there.68 As Hahneman observes, “In the West, on the other hand, Andrew received little attention until the late fourth century, when he is found, for example, in the Gothic Calendar of Ulphilas, Filaster (d. ca. 397), Pacian (d. 390), and Evodius of Uzala (d. 424).”69 The Byzantine  apud Jerome, Comm. Matt. See p. 153 n. 70 (above).  The implication may be that the beloved disciple – who was not John, son of Zebedee – composed the Fourth Gospel. Ehrhardt construes this as part of a debate between Rome and Asia, tracing the fasting legend to Papias (Framework of the New Testament Stories, 14, 18–25). Cf. Martini, Ambrosiaster, 201 (De divinitate spiritus sancti 25), citing A. Souter, “The Commonitorium of Fulgentius of Ruspe on the Holy Spirit,” JTS 14 (1913): 481–88, here: 483. Pope Innocent I (402–417 ce) condemned work circulating in the name of Andrew as fraudulent and assigned blame to “two philosophers, Nexocharides and Leonidas” (Farrer, Literary Forgeries, 130). The prominence of Andrew (John 1:40) and practice of fasting (Mark 2:18–22 || Matt 9:14– 17 || Luke 5:33–39; cf. John 3:29–30) oddly resemble NT Baptist traditions. 68  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 190–91. None of the other western comparanda mention Andrew; see Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 191–92; Peter M. Peterson, Andrew, Brother of Simon Peter: His History and His Legends, NovTSup (Leiden: Brill, 1963); Francis Dvornik, The Idea of Apostolicity in Byzantium and the Legend of the Apostle Andrew (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1958). The anti-Marcionite prologue to John contains a different legend about the origin of this gospel involving Papias and Marcion. See Benjamin Bacon, “The Anti-Marcionite Prologue to John,” JBL 49 (1930): 43–54. 69  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 192. 66 67

B. Commentary


church endorses Andrew as “first-called” (John 1:40–42),70 answering Rome’s promotion of Peter.

Regula fidei Lines 16–26 interrupt the narrative about John with a regula fidei, a “statement” or “rule” of faith. Westcott describes it as follows: The whole passage from Et ideo – futurum est comes in very abruptly and has no connexion with what precedes, which could be expressed by ideo; and similarly what follows is not connected with it by ergo.71

In content, the passage comprises two central assertions. The first is that although the gospels have differences (uaria, Metzger translates “various elements”), because one sovereign Spirit declared all of them, the faith of believers is uniform (et ideo licet varia singulis evangeliorum libris principia doceantur, nihil tamen differt credentium fidei, cum uno ac principali spiritu declarata sint in omnibus omnia, ll. 16–20).72 The second assertion is a five-part credal statement, confessing belief in Jesus’s: (1) nativity (de nativitate, ll. 20–21), (2) passion (de passione, l. 21), (3) resurrection (de resurrectione, l. 21), (4) life with his disciples (de conversatione cum discipulis suis, l. 22), and (5) two-fold coming (de gemino eius adventu, l. 23). The two-fold coming is qualified as both past and future: the first was Jesus’s life on earth, characterized as “when in his lowliness he was scorned” (primo in humilitate despectus quod fuit, ll. 24–25); and the second will be his return, characterized as “in brilliant royal power” (secundo potestate regali praeclaro, quod futurum est, ll. 25–26). Various fourth-century regulae contain similar assertions. Armstrong sees a parallel between MF ll.  17–23 and Chromatius, Tract. Mat., prol. 3 (ed. Étaix and Lemarié, 186). Although this comparison is addressed in Chapter 5 (above), a brief summation is provided here. Of four passages in the prologue to Chromatius’s third tractate on Matthew demonstrating a possible relationship to the MF, the most compelling is as follows (parallel words in bold): Horum igitur quattuor euangelistarum firma et indemutabilis auctoritas est, quia uno principali omnia conscripserunt, quorum licet certa ratione varia principia doceantur, in nullo tamen sibi dissentiunt, quia unus omnium idemque fidei sensus est de incarnatione

 Cf. also Papias apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.39.4. General Survey of the History of the Canon, 544 n. 2. However, ideo does not exclusively refer to a reason already given; it very often points forward, anticipating that reason. Thus, ideo could be construed with cum, “for the reason … since …”. In this case, one might prefer it nearer the verb differt, but it is nevertheless possible. 72  ideo in l. 16 appears to go with cum in l. 19. 70

71 Westcott,


Chapter Six: Commentary

Domini, de nativitate, de passione, de resurrectione, de gemino quoque eius adventu (Tract. Mat., prol. 3.35–40).73 Therefore, the authority of these four evangelists is firm and unchangeable, since they drew up all things by one sovereign [Spirit] of which, although their diverse beginnings (or “doctrines”) are taught according to a fixed rationale, nevertheless in nothing do they disagree among themselves, for faith has one and the same meaning of all things concerning the incarnation of the Lord, concerning the nativity, concerning the passion, concerning the resurrection, and also concerning his twofold coming.

Where a cursory glance demonstrates lexical similarities, closer investigation reveals that the passages differ substantially in their main ideas. Chromatius discusses the evangelist’s “authority” (auctoritas) regarding it as “firm” (firma) and “unchangeable” (indemutabilis). Although various principia74 are taught, he admits of no disagreements (in nullo tamen sibi dissentiunt) among the writers because each evangelist understood the same thing by faith with regard to the incarnation, passion, resurrection, and double return. In contrast, the Fragmentist treats books, not authors, and admits disagreements among their principia, but states that such variations need not weaken the faith of believers (licet varia singulis evangeliorum libris principia doceantur, nihil tamen differt credentium fidei) because one sovereign spirit revealed all four books.75 Furthermore, in the Fragment, what the spirit revealed pertains not just to the incarnation, passion, resurrection, and double return, but to the Lord’s association with his disciples. Different applications of traditional material utilizing key terms that are essentially ubiquitous (1 Cor 15:3–8; Acts 1:21–22) may nevertheless signal some form of literary reliance.76

Excursus: Diatessaron Although it seems unlikely given the specifications “third” (l. 2) and “fourth book” (l. 9) it is possible that the MF is itself a prologue (perhaps assembled from other prologues) to a Latin Diatessaron or other harmony (Greek or Latin). This would not only explain the theme of evangelical unity, including the content of the gospels (via John), but also the formal features of the work (namely, that it is not separated into different prologues) and  Ed. Étaix and Lemarié, 186. is ambiguous, denoting either “principles” or “beginnings,” as in the different early chapters of each gospel, i. e., baptized by John the Baptist (Mark 1), descended from Abraham (Matt 1) or Adam (Luke 3), or present with God at the creation of the world (John 1). See Kuhn, Das Muratorische Fragment, 68–69, and our earlier discussion at p. 227 n. 121. 75  On spiritu, see Lemarié, “Saint Chromace d’Aquilée,” 102. 76  See De Bruyne, Summaries, Divisions and Rubrics of the Latin Bible; idem, Prefaces of the Latin Bible, Studia Traditionis Theologiae 19 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2015). These passages are discussed at greater length in Chapter 5. For the parallel with Jerome, Comm. Matt., praef., ll. 34–39, see p. 228, n124. 73

74 Principia

B. Commentary


why the quartet is positioned in correspondence (through John and Revelation) to the Pauline Epistles. Tatian shares with the Fragment enthusiastic correlation of the Fourth Gospel with the Synoptics in a second century context.77 The most important witness of a Latin gospel harmony is the sixth-century MS Fulda, Landesbibliothek, 100 Codex Bonifatianus 1 (Codex Fuldensis, usually designated by the siglum F). This manuscript represents the achievement of Victor of Capua (d. 554) during the 540s. About F, Hugh Houghton notes: “Harmonies deriving from Codex Fuldensis are described as Unum ex quattuor, based on Victor’s preface.”78 There is, however, disagreement about whether there was a Latin gospel harmony before the time of Victor. According to Ulrich B. Schmid, there is no solid evidence for an “old” Gospel harmony in Latin prior to Codex Fuldensis79 and as J. J. Armstrong points out, Origen and Jerome (and for his thesis, perhaps Victorinus in between) deal with all four gospels in the prologue to Matthew’s gospels.80 Thus, something that looks like a prologue to all four gospels could have stood as a prologue to Matthew only (i. e., not necessarily implying a gospel harmony).81 On the other side of the gospel harmony argument would also be correspondences (described above) between the MF and the Acts of Timothy. The legend in Acts Tim. of John’s four-gospel formation from a random assemblage of papyrus pages appears to react against a Diatessaron or other gospel harmony, placing apostolic imprimatur (John) on a canon of four separate gospels.82 Also against the gospel harmony argument, Adolf von Harnack hypothesized that the Fragment’s rejection of Miltiadis in l. 81 was originally a rejection of “Tatian” – a correspondence based on mutual acceptance of a fifth gospel. To be sure, there is a paleographical problem at the word Mitiades. Whether it can be read as Tatiani is, however, another question. The problems concern the first i and the final letters -des. Under the e, one might suppose an i, but the i would not be consistent within any examples on the page. It better resembles an initial i. What is beneath the i? Tregelles thinks it is an e; Harnack suggests an o, then an a. It could be an o or c perhaps. It is not an e or an a. The s looks like an afterthought. In short, it is unclear.83 Harnack argues that Basilides and Montanus are correlated based on their mutual promotion of two prophet(tesses): Prisca and Maximilla; Barkoph and Barkabbas.84 77  See John Chapman, Notes on the Early History of the Vulgate Gospels (Oxford: Clarendon, 1908), 135. 78  Hugh Houghton, Latin New Testament, 56. 79  Ulrich B. Schmid, “In Search of Tatian’s Diatessaron in the West,” VC 57 (2003): 176–99, here: 181. 80  Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 30–32. 81  Jerome’s Prologue to the Canonical Gospels in F (Codex Fuldensis) – a letter the aim of which is to assist readers of the harmony – could suggest that the MF was originally formulated as a letter. The epistolary hypothesis would explain the “we/our” references (ll. 47, 70–71, 81–83) which make better sense if the writer had revealed (i. e., in a prescript) the group to which he belongs or his doctrinal/ecclesiological affinities. 82  Another point of contrast is F’s inclusion but the MF’s exclusion of Laodiceans. 83 Adolf von Harnack, “Der polemische Abschnitt im Muratorischen Fragmente als Schlüssel für ein geschichtliches Verständnis desselben,” Zeitschrift für lutheranische Theologie und Kirche 35 (1874): 276–88, here: 284. 84  Harnack, “Der polemische Abschnitt im Muratorischen Fragmente,” 284. Cf. idem, “Das Muratorische Fragment und die Entstehung einer Sammlung Apostolisch-Katholischer Schriften,” Zeitschrift für lutheranische Theologie und Kirche (1879): 358–408, 595–98; Mat-


Chapter Six: Commentary

Finally, Peter Corssen observes the following similar phrases between the MF and Monarchian Prologues: schismae heresis, credentium fides, profectio … proficiscentis and two uses of ideo.85 Commenting on Corssen’s treatment, John Chapman draws attention to the following similar phrases: Romanis autem ordnem scripturarum sed et principium earum esse Christum intimans (MF ll. 44–45) with quarum omnium rerum tempus, ordo, numerus, dispositio uel ratio, Deus Christus est. Chapman dismisses the similarities, arguing that the differences are in fact more striking. In Chapman’s estimation, The fragment is concerned to harmonize the Gospels, to defend their authenticity, to show that the author of the fourth Gospel was an eyewitness, to establish the number of St. Paul’s Epistles, and so on. It insists, indeed on the correct order of these, but this is not a very close parallel to the remarks of Priscillian about order. The Prologues on the other hand are ‘argument,’ introductions, with no apologetic purpose whatever. They were written at a period when the canon was fixed. They do not attempt any harmonizing but give hints toward the study of the deep meanings of the Gospels. The history in the fragment is all given with an apologetic purpose. That in the Prologues is given for its intrinsic interest. The matter never coincides. The birth and death of Luke are not mentioned in the fragment. The circumstances of the composition of the Gospel are not given by the Prologue. That Luke was a physician and companion of St. Paul, that John was one of the ‘disciples’ (his own name for himself is ‘disciple’) form the only common ground and such statements were simply unavoidable.86

1 John Lines 27–33 of the Fragment contain four additional claims concerning John, son of Zebedee: (1) He consistently brings forward important details (i. e., in his gospel);87 (2) He offers additional valuable information in his epistles (mirum, si Iohannes tam constanter singula etiam in epistulis suis proferat, ll. 27–28); (3) By these details, he proves that he was an eyewitness to Jesus (sic enim non solum visorem, sed et auditorem, l. 32); and, (4) He offers an orderly account of all of Jesus’s signs (sed et scriptorem omnium mirabilium Domini per ordinem profitetur, ll. 33–34).88

In addition to these four Johannine traditions, this section contains an allusion to 1 John 1:1–4: quae vidimus oculis nostris et auribus audivimus et manus nosthew R. Crawford and Nicholas J. Zola, The Gospel of Tatian: Exploring the Nature and Text of the Diatessaron, The Reception of Jesus in the First Three Centuries (Edinburgh: Clark, 2019); William L. Petersen, Tatian’s Diatessaron: Its Creation, Dissemination, Significance, and History in Scholarship, Suppl. to VC 25 (Atlanta: SBL, 2013; 11994); Schmid, “In Search of Tatian’s Diatessaron in the West,” 176–99. 85  Corssen, Monarchianische Prologe zu den vier Evangelien, 66–67. 86  Chapman, Notes on the Early History, 275–76 n. 2, emphasis added. 87  The word etiam in l. 28 implies that the writer refers back to his discussion of John’s gospel. 88  Cf. John 20:30–31. Gregory of Nazianzus describes Matthew as presenting the “miracles” of Christ: Ματθαῖος μὲν ἔγραψεν Ἑβραίοις θαύματα Χριστοῦ (Carm. 1.1.12, l. 31; PG 37:474)

B. Commentary


trae palpaverunt, haec scripsimus (“What we have seen with our eyes, and heard with our ears, and our hands have touched, these things we have written,” ll. 29– 31).89 Metzger refers to the citation of 1 John 1:1–4 as a Vulgate “reminiscence,”90 thinking of a second-century date of a Greek original of the Fragment but a Latin version written sometime “after the beginning of the fifth century” guided by the Vulgate.91 Metzger backs his claim with the research of Julio Campos, who demonstrates post-second century “phonetic, graphic, morphological, and lexical features of the Latinity of the fragment” (see discussion in Chapter 4 above).92 To be sure, this allusion has some unusual characteristics. 1 John begins with two conventional prologue claims: (1)  the claim to begin at the beginning or treat origins ( Ὃ ἦν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς); and (2) the claim to base the report on eyewitness testimony (ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν) (cf. Luke 1:1–4).93 Its quasi-poetic form poses a challenge to exegetes. The Vulgate’s version pertains to our discussion and is thus cited here: 1 Quod fuit ab initio quod audivimus quod vidimus oculis nostris quod perspeximus et manus nostrae temptaverunt de verbo vitae 2et vita manifestata est et vidimus et testamur et adnuntiamus vobis vitam aeternam quae erat apud Patrem et apparuit nobis 3quod vidimus et audivimus adnuntiamus et vobis ut et vos societatem habeatis nobiscum et societas nostra sit cum Patre et cum Filio eius Iesu Christo 4et haec scribimus vobis ut gaudium nostrum sit plenum.94

The following diagram attempts to illustrate the poetic quality of these lines by highlighting cadences, echoes, and emphases: 1We

declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life –

 See discussion of Chromatius, prol. Tract. Mat. on pp. 224–25 above.  Metzger, Canon of the New Testament, 193. 91  Metzger, Canon of the New Testament, 193. 92  Metzger, Canon of the New Testament, 193 n. 10 with reference to “Epoca,” 485–96. See discussion of Campos in Chapter 4. 93  On the conventionality of these claims in historical prologues, see Loveday Alexander, The Preface to Luke’s Gospel: Literary Convention and Social Context in Luke 1:1–4 and Acts 1:1, SNTSMS 78 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993). 94 NA 28: 1Ὃ ἦν ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς, ὃ ἀκηκόαμεν, ὃ ἑωράκαμεν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν, ὃ ἐθεασάμεθα καὶ αἱ χεῖρες ἡμῶν ἐψηλάφησαν περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς–2καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν καὶ ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν–3ὃ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ἀκηκόαμεν, ἀπαγγέλλομεν καὶ ὑμῖν, ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς κοινωνίαν ἔχητε μεθ’ ἡμῶν. καὶ ἡ κοινωνία δὲ ἡ ἡμετέρα μετὰ τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ μετὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. 4καὶ ταῦτα γράφομεν ἡμεῖς, ἵνα ἡ χαρὰ ἡμῶν ᾖ πεπληρωμένη (1 John 1:1–4). 89 90


Chapter Six: Commentary

2(this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal

life that was with the Father and was revealed to us)3 we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4We write these things so that our joy may be complete. (NRSV )

Without going into detail about this interesting and complex prologue, the parenthetical insertion in v. 2 (qualifying verbo vitae, “the word of life” in v. 1) resembles John 1:6–8 (“There was a man sent from God, whose name …”) insofar as both appear to be insertions. The resumption in v. 3 (adnuntiamus), resembles other NT resumptions (e. g., Mark 2:10: ait paralytico, cf. 2:5). Raymond E. Brown argues that “The ‘heard,’ ‘seen,’ ‘looked at,’ and ‘touched’ of 1 John 1:1 are meant to underline the importance of witnesses to the realities of Jesus’ preresurrectional ministry.”95 With regard to v. 4, Brown argues that the reference to writing indicates the passing along of 1 John from a “community of traditionbearers” – “eyewitnesses” through their vicarious participation in a community: For that reason it is probable that the ‘these things’ which are the object of his writing [v. 4] refer to more than the contents of the four verses of the Prologue (pace Stott and others); the term refers to what follows as well.96

The Muratorian Fragment’s (ll. 29–31) citation of 1 John 1:1–4 shares the following words in common with 1 John (bold): 29 quae vidimus oculis 30 nostris et auribus audivimus et manus 31 nostrae palpaverunt haec scripsimus 29 what we have seen with our eyes 30 and heard with our ears, and 31 touched with our hands, these things we have written to you

It appears that the Fragmentist takes the references to seeing and hearing from 1 John 1:3, not 1:1, because in both 1:3 and MF ll. 29–30 the actions (seen, heard, touched) occur in the same order (the reverse of 1:1), even if MF l. 29 includes the reference to eyes (oculis nostris) from 1 John 1:1. Although 1 John emphasizes hearing (1:1, 3, 5; 2:7, 18, 24 (bis); 3:11), this text makes no reference to ears (auribus) as in MF l.  30. The Fragment’s inclusion of “ears” may have been borrowed from elsewhere, for example, Matt 11:15 (ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκουέτω). In addition, the Fragment adopts hands (manus nostrae) from 1 John 1:1 and merges it with the reference to “writing” in v. 4, shifting the emphasis of the passage from declaration to composition. What is originally “to feel” or “to touch” (palpo) in 95  Raymond E. Brown, The Epistles of John, Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries 30 (New York: Doubleday, 1982), 163. 96  Brown, Epistles of John, 172–73.

B. Commentary


1 John becomes “to compose” in the Fragment. All of these observations might be explained as the MF paraphrasing rather than citing the poetic language and ideas of 1 John 1. Lines 32–34 of the Fragment express the author’s exegetical interpretation of 1 John 1:1–4: 32. sic enim non solum visorem, sed et auditorem 33. sed et scriptorem omnium mirabilium Domini per ordi34. nem profitetur97 For in this way he professes not only to be an eyewitness as well as auditor, but also an author of all the marvelous things of the Lord in order (ll. 32–34).98

In 1 John, references to sight, hearing, and touch emphasize the physical quality of the author’s experience of Jesus’s post-resurrection appearances (cf. John 20:24–29; 21:1–14; cf. 19:35) as a source of fellowship and joy within the community.99 In contrast, the Fragment (ll.  32–34) appropriates John’s eye- (and ear-) witness testimony to back the reliability of the Gospel of John. This rare application of the passage (cf. Chromatius, Tract. Mat., prol. 2.23–25) resembles the Fragment’s emphasis in the regula fidei (ll. 18–26, noted above) on writings as opposed to writers (i. e., evangelists). By means of what appears to be a somewhat tangled paraphrase, the Fragment deploys 1 John 1:1–4 as a prooftext that defends the trustworthiness of the Fourth Gospel. It also resembles Jerome’s discussion of John the Apostle in Vir. ill. 9, where 1 John 1:1–4 is cited in the context of commending the reliability of John’s Gospel, even if there are clear discrepancies between the Fourth Gospel and the Synoptics.100

Acts of All the Apostles The MF’s tradition about Acts has five component parts: (1) Text title: “acts” (Acta, l. 34);  97 profitetur

(Zahn)  According to Simon Gathercole, “The Muratorian Fragment’s remark that John wrote down Jesus’ deeds ‘in their order’ (Mur. Fr. 33)” is “probably dependent upon Papias.” Gathercole continues: “The similarity of the accounts of John’s Gospel-writing in the Muratorian Fragment and Clement’s account of the ancient elders (which may also be dependent on Papias) suggests the existence of an explanation by the bishop of Hierapolis of the circumstances of the composition of John” (“Alleged Anonymity of the Gospels,” 470).  99 Brown writes, “Clearly the author is claiming participation in a physical contact with Jesus. (As stated above, that need not mean he was an eyewitness; as a member of the Johannine School he would have had vicarious participation in the contact of the Beloved Disciple with Jesus)” (Epistles of John, 163). 100  Jerome argues that discrepancies among the accounts are removed when it is acknowledged that Matthew, Mark, and Luke cover only a single year in Jesus’s life, whereas John also covers the earlier period before John the Baptist was put in prison.  98


Chapter Six: Commentary

(2) Text subtitle: “of all the apostles” (omnium apostolorum, l. 34); (3) Composition as single work (sub uno libro scripta sunt, l. 35); (4) Dedication to nobleman, Theophilus (optimo Theophilo, l. 35–36); and, (5) Luke’s authority as an eyewitness is proven by the fact that he omits full accounts of events for which he has no witness, such as Peter’s death and Paul’s trip from Rome to Spain (Lucas … comprehendit quae sub praesentia eius singula gerebantur sicuti et semota passione Petri evidenter declarat sed et profectione Pauli ab urbe ad Spaniam proficiscentis, ll. 35–39). Each tradition is examined in order. (1) The reference to the Book of Acts as acta, suggests a date sometime after Tertullian (155–220 ce) who is first to regularly use this title for this work.101 The text of Acts is not securely and explicitly cited until Irenaeus (Haer. 3.12–14.2, ca. 180 ce).102 (2) The subtitle, “all the apostles” (acta autem omnium apostolorum, l. 34), is problematic insofar as the narrative does not include episodes about all traditionally regarded as apostles.103 While possible that “all” is being used here in a general sense – implying “some” or perhaps “many,” it leaves open the question of whether the Fragmentist (a) refers to the present version of Acts; (b) views Peter and Paul as the only legitimate apostles; and, (c) holds a view of apostleship that opposes proliferating ‘apostolic’ writings. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 350 ce) attests a different expanded title in Greek: “The Acts of the Twelve Apostles”104 to which this unusual title may be related. (3) Reference to Acts as a single volume (sub uno libro, l. 35) is unusual given that Acts is the only early Christian work known by the end of the second century to possess a companion volume (i. e., Luke). Tregelles regards the expression as suggested by Acts 1:1 (Τὸν μὲν πρῶτον λόγον ἐποιησάμην): that is, one book “de101 “Acts” (Acta) or “Acts of the Apostles” (Acta Apostolorum) in Bapt. 7, 10; Res. 23, 39; Scorp. 15; Prax. 17, 28; Carn. Chr. 15; Praescr. 1 (bis). Hahneman points to a tendency in the fourth century to amplify the title, noting (1) Cyril of Jerusalem (“The Acts of the Twelve Apostles,” Catech. 4.36); (2) the late-fourth or early-fifth century Syriac Christian text, Doctrina Addai (“The Acts of the Twelve Apostles,” in G. Phillips, The Doctrine of Addai, the Apostle [London, Trübner & Co., Ludgate Hill, 1876], 44); (3) Gregory of Nazianzus (“The Acts of the wise apostles,” Carm. 1.1.12, l. 34, PG 37:474)); and (4) Amphilochius (“The catholic acts of the apostles,” Iambi ad Seleucum ll. 289–319, here: l. 297 (ed. Oberg, 38, 75). See Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 193. He also entertains the idea that the Manichaean collection of five apocryphal acts might have prompted the amplifications (193). 102  Pervo, Acts, 1. 103 John Knox (Marcion and the New Testament [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1942], 160) and Campenhausen (Formation of the Christian Bible, 248 n. 214) both view this exaggeration as anti-Marcionite. Hahneman discusses this qualification with respect to other titles (Muratorian Fragment, 193). 104  Δέχου δὲ καὶ τὰς Πράξεις τῶν δώδεκα ἀποστόλων (Catech. 4.36 [PG 33:500B; NPNF2 7:26–28]). Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 193–94.

B. Commentary


voted to the actions and teaching of our Lord, and one (the second) book to the Acts of the Apostles.”105 (4)  Dedication to “noble Theophilus” (Gk. κράτιστε; Lat. optime) in l.  35 comes from Luke 1:3. The honorific is absent from Acts 1:1 (ὦ Θεόφιλε) prompting questions such as: what is the author’s source for so closely connecting Luke and Acts? And, why mention Theophilus (with honorific) with regard to Acts (ll. 34–39) but not Luke (ll. 2–8)?106 Jerome, Vir. ill., Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.4, Chromatius, Tract. Matt., the anti-Marcionite and the Monarchian prologues do not mention Theophilus in their discussions of Luke. Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and Origen acknowledge Luke as the author of Acts, but Theophilus is excluded from their testimonies. The only catalogue, list, prologue, or text of a related genre that I can find in which Theophilus is associated with Acts is the sixth-century (?) pseudo-Athanasian Synopsis Scripturae Sacrae.107 One wonders if the dedication to a specific addressee was thought to jeopardize the universal (catholic) appeal of either or both texts. In the Synopsis Scripturae Sacrae, a list of the canon of the Old Testament, Apocrypha, and New Testament books, the first sentence of each book is quoted immediately after its title. The reason for this is uncertain but may be to prevent confusion (books went by different names in different locations). In § 3, immediately after the Gospel of John, the anonymous author records about Acts: Πράξεις τῶν ἀποστόλων, οὗ ἡ ἀρχή. Τὸν μὲν πρῶτον λόγον ἐποιησάμην περὶ πάντων, ὦ Θεόφιλε, ὧν ἤρξατο ὁ Ἰησοῦς ποιεῖν τε καὶ διδάσκειν. Citation of first lines explains the reference to Theophilus. If the Fragment dates to the middle of the second century it may be the first explicit witness not only to the title, content, and attribution of Acts to Luke, but to its reference to Theophilus in the context of didactic prefatory material. (5) Metzger and other interpreters understand ll. 35–39 as implying a tradition that Luke was present for the events he narrates, as evidenced by the fact that he does not recount the martyrdom of Peter or Paul’s trip to Spain.108 This tradition comparing the passio Petri with the profectio Pauli is often regarded as earlier than the tradition comparing the passio Petri and the passio Pauli (the passioprofectio is attested in the Acts of Peter).109 On Metzger’s reading, semota in l. 37  Canon Muratorianus, 39, emphasis original.  Although assequi in MF l. 7 may suggest that Luke 1:3 (adsecuto) is in view. 107  PG 28:283–438; CPG 2249. See Zahn, Geschichte, 2.1:302–18; J. Armitage Robinson, ed. “Euthaliana,” in Texts and Studies: Contributions to Biblical and Patristic Literature 3 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1895), 106–20. As Robinson’s title suggests, the text bears a relationship to the Euthalian apparatus. Parts of the text also resemble the Synopsis Scripturae Sacrae of ps.-Chrysostom (PG 56:313–386). On the latter, see the study of Francesca Prometea Barone, “Pour une édition critique de la Synopsis Scripturae Sacrae du Pseudo-Jean Chrysostome,” Revue de philologie, de littérature et d’histoire anciennes 83 (2009): 7–19. 108  Metzger, Canon of the New Testament, 196, 306. 109  1 Clement alludes to the martyrdom of Peter (and Paul) (1 Clem 5.4 [Peter]; 5.5–7 [Paul]); however, this author was not an eyewitness, and the popular date of this text (96 ce) 105 106


Chapter Six: Commentary

refers to Luke110 who restricted [himself ] to what fell under his own notice and thus omits Peter’s martyrdom and Paul’s departure from Rome111 for Spain.112 Metzger translates the passage as follows: For most excellent Theophilus Luke compiled the individual events (singula) that took place in his presence – as he plainly shows by omitting the martyrdom of Peter as well as the departure of Paul from the city [of Rome] when he journeyed to Spain. (ll. 35–39).113

As with the immediately preceding lines about John (ll.  32–34), the point of the sentence is to defend (albeit here with a negative argument) the eyewitness authority of Acts: Luke was present for the ministry of the two great apostles, but not for their individual departures. The we-passages in Acts are, in some measure, regarded as evidence for the interpretation.114 This position may, however, require modest nuancing. Singula in l. 36 may not imply that events in toto, but their details have been omitted – an interpretation better supported by ancient traditions about Luke. A consensus of traditions, both ancient and medieval, reads Acts as revealing that Luke was Paul’s faithful demands new investigation. L. L. Welborn, “On the Date of First Clement,” BR 29 (1984): 34– 54; C. K. Rothschild, “Clement as Pseudepigraphon,” in New Essays on the Apostolic Fathers, WUNT 1/375 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017), 61–68. Concerning these events, even if the author was Clement of Rome (d. 99?), he is unlikely to have been an eyewitness to these events. Few ancient writers prior to the fourth century mention Paul’s trip to Spain (Rom 15:24, 28). The Acts of Peter records both Peter’s martyrdom and Paul’s trip, prompting Carl Schmidt to conclude that the Fragmentist knew this work, the date of which is not earlier than the late fourth century: Die alten Petrusakten, TU 24/1 (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1903), 105; idem, “Studien zu den alten Petrusakten, II. Die Komposition,” ZKG 45 (1926): 481–513, here: 495. See also Leon Vouaux, Les Actes de Pierre: Introduction, textes, traduction et commentaire (Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1922), 110–11. Origen (apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.1.2); Commodian, Carmen apol. 626, 629–30; Didascalia; and Acts of Paul seem to know the Acts of Peter. Matthew C. Baldwin dates the text to the late third century and Codex Vercellensis to the late fourth century. See Whose Acts of Peter? 302, 303, respectively. 110 Kuhn (citing Hesse) on the parallelism between passio Petri and profectio Pauli, regards semota as applying to Luke: “Lucas gibt deutlich kund, dass er sich in der Apostelgesch. im Wesentlichen auf das Selbsterlebte beschränkt, dadurch, dass er den Zeugentod des Petrus, und sogar (sed et, steigernd), was noch mehr als unmittelbare Fortsetzung oder Abschluss seines Geschichtswerkes erwartet werden sollte, die Reise des Paulus nach Spanien, aus dem ihm vorliegenden Stoffe ausschliesst. Im zweiten Theil der Acta beschäftigt sich Lc. so sehr nur mit Pl., dass die Weglassung der passio Petri weniger befremdet, als das Fehlen der profectio Pauli. Der Beweis der Augenzeugenschaft Lucae scheint dem Frg. mit diesem Argument erbracht, allerdings nur ein negativer, indirecter, kein positiver, directer Beweis” (Das Muratorische Fragment, 64). Cf. Zahn, Geschichte, 2:54–58. Cf. Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, 1.2:410. 111  According to Tregelles, ab urbe implies that the Fragment was written in Rome (Canon Muratorianus, 40). 112  Contrast Luke 1:2, καθὼς παρέδοσαν ἡμῖν οἱ ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς αὐτόπται καὶ ὑπηρέται γενόμενοι τοῦ λόγου, in which the author restricts himself to reports of eyewitnesses and ministers of the word – not his own eyewitness observation. 113  Metzger, Canon of the New Testament, 306. 114 Reference to the we-passages ignores that Luke 1:1–4, if written by the same author as Acts, claims not to be but to rely on eyewitnesses and others.

B. Commentary


companion to the end, Luke himself dying a martyr’s death in Achaia after Paul.115 One widespread legend held that Luke died at the venerable old age of eightyfour in Boeotia.116 Moreover, Paul’s trip to Spain was a fourth-century consensus based primarily on Romans 15.117 John Chrysostom was not alone in reading Acts alongside Romans as conveying that Paul spent two years in Rome before he departed for Spain.118 These traditions arise, not just from intertextual cues (John 21:18–19; Rom 15:24; 2 Pet 1:14), but from interpretations of Acts as both (1) foretelling Peter’s passion and (2) prefiguring Paul’s departure for Spain. Acts 12:17 characterizes Peter as departing to “another place”: καὶ ἐξελθὼν ἐπορεύθη εἰς ἕτερον τόπον / et egressus abiit in alium locum. Acts 28:30 delimits Paul’s time in Rome as διετία (“two years”; cf. Rom 15:24–25, 28).119 Thus, the Fragmentist appears to put forward that Acts narrates details of the events to which he was party but avoids details of events to which he was not, that is, foretelling these events without the use of detail. Such a reading makes more sense in the context of the Fragment, in which singula also occurs in l. 28 there denoting – even on Metzger’s reading (“particular points”) – “details” (singula as in “singularities”) in John’s gospel based on personal autopsy.120 The Fragment reflects the widespread tradition that Luke outlived Peter and Paul, but was not present at their respective departures and deaths to be able to report them with the level of detail given elsewhere. In this way, the text endorses the widespread ancient belief that Acts knows and implies the fates of Peter and Paul. The reliability of Acts, according to the MF, is thus not based on Luke’s commitment to narrating only events for which he was present, but identical to the passage about the Fourth Gospel immediately prior (ll. 27–34), a commitment to narrating only details of events to which he was present. Luke would not skip over an event simply because he did not have the details. This interest in construing both the presence (John) and 115 John Gilmary Shea, ed., Pictorial Lives of the Saints: With Reflections for Every Day of the Year (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1889). 116  Michael Walsh, ed., Butler’s Lives of the Saints (New York: HarperColllins, 1991), 342. I am not aware of any late antique or medieval tradition claiming that Luke died before Peter and Paul. To be sure, Metzger has not made that claim about the Fragment, although one wonders what it means for events to have fallen “under his [Luke’s] own notice” (Metzger, Canon of the New Testament, 306). It should not imply that Luke was unable to travel to Rome with Paul: καὶ οὕτως εἰς τὴν Ῥώμην ἤλθαμεν (Acts 28:14). 117 For the fourth-century consensus that Paul made it to Spain, e. g., John Chrysostom frequently refers to Paul’s voyage to Spain (Hom. Heb. 1,1; Hom. 2 Tim. 10,3; Hom. Rom. 29,3; 30,1; Laud. Paul. 7,9; cf. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. 17.26). Cf. Acts Pet. 1–3. 118  Hom. Heb. 1,1. In this passage John brings together “two years” (Acts 28:30) with Paul’s trip to Spain (Rom 15:24, 28). 119 Acts 28:30–31: Ἐνέμεινεν δὲ διετίαν ὅλην ἐν ἰδίῳ μισθώματι καὶ ἀπεδέχετο πάντας τοὺς εἰσπορευομένους πρὸς αὐτόν, κηρύσσων τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ διδάσκων τὰ περὶ τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ μετὰ πάσης παρρησίας ἀκωλύτως. See Pervo, Acts, 308, 690, respectively. Cf. Joseph A. Fitzmyer, The Acts of the Apostles, Anchor Yale Bible Commentary 31 (New York: Doubleday, 1998), 489–90, 796–97, respectively. 120  Metzger, Canon of the New Testament, 306. Cf. MF l. 36 (singula), l. 46 (singulis).


Chapter Six: Commentary

absence (Luke) of textual detail as testifying to the reliability of a NT writing suggests a historical context in which theological debates over minutiae rage.

Letters of Paul Lines 39–68 are dedicated to Paul’s letters. This section has three clearly demarcated parts: (1) ll. 39–46, (2) ll. 46–59, and (3) ll. 59–68. The first part opens with a hermeneutical principle: the hyperbolic oversimplification that truth is by definition plain. Specifically, the prefatory remark claims that whatever their historical contingencies, the implications of Paul’s letters are self-evident for believers (epistulae autem Pauli, quae a quo loco uel qua ex causa directae sint, volentibus intellegere ipse declarant, ll. 39–41). The thumbnail sketches of three letters in ll. 42–43 provide examples demonstrating this principle. The self-evident implication of 1 Corinthians for believers is “prohibiting heretical schisms” (primum omnium Corinthiis scismae haereses interdicens).

Excursus: “Schism of Heresy” Unless it reflects a close reading of 1 Cor 11:18–19,121 the construction, scysmae heresis, corrected to schismae haereses (“heresy of schism,” l. 42), is surprising insofar as schismatics are not all deemed heretics until the Middle Ages. What is more, the parallel line in BP l. 1 offers scisma heresis (“the schism of heresy”). While the difference might seem negligible, it might also be informative. Through the first centuries of Christianity, schism and heresy were essentially synonymous concepts – their distinction emerging only slowly. It is not until the fourth century when heresy (i. e., “sect”) is invoked as the cause of schism (i. e., “separation”),122 and only much later than that that schism comes to be defined as one of a number of punishable heresies. Augustine distinguishes the two concepts and most subsequent interpreters follow: schism implies separatio but not secta.123 The Fragment seems to imply that schism is (necessarily) a form of heresy dating this line in the fourth century or later.

121  1 Cor 11:18–19: πρῶτον μὲν γὰρ συνερχομένων ὑμῶν ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ ἀκούω σχίσματα ἐν ὑμῖν ὑπάρχειν καὶ μέρος τι πιστεύω. δεῖ γὰρ καὶ αἱρέσεις ἐν ὑμῖν εἶναι, ἵνα [καὶ] οἱ δόκιμοι φανεροὶ γένωνται ἐν ὑμῖν. 122  Cyprian provides evidence. See Geoffrey Dunn, “Heresy and Schism according to Cyprian of Carthage,” JTS 55 (2004): 551–74. Cf. Erika T. Hermanowicz, Possidius of Calama: A Study of the North African Episcopate, Oxford Early Christian Studies (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 129. See also Caroline Humfress, Orthodoxy and the Courts in Late Antiquity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007); John Christian Laursen and Cary J. Nederman, eds., Heresy in Transition: Transforming Ideas of Heresy in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (New York: Routledge, 2005). 123 Christine Caldwell Ames, Medieval Heresies: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, Cambridge Medieval Textbooks (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 6.

B. Commentary


The self-evident implication of Galatians for believers (l.  43) is likewise restrictive: “[prohibiting] circumcision” (Galatis circumcisionem). Lines 44–46 characterize Romans as relating Christ as the order and origin of the scriptures (Romanis autem ordinem scripturarum sed et principium earum esse Christum intimans prolixius scripsit). Whereas the descriptions for Corinthians and Galatians are specific and clear (i. e., schisma and circumcision, respectively), the one for Romans is general and difficult to explain, perhaps related to Rom 1:2, 3:21–22, 10:4, or 15:4.124 One has the impression that the Fragmentist is superimposing Johannine theological ideas (John 1:1–3) on an interpretation of Romans. The second section (ll.  46–59) commences with the astonishing comment that Paul was following the order, or example, of his predecessor John by writing by name to only seven churches. This statement seems to mean that Paul wrote his epistles after John wrote Revelation.125 For Bunsen, Zahn, and Corssen it is necessary to restore non before necesse in l. 46 for the sake of coherence.126 In other words, thumbnail sketches (“details”) about letters other than those just given (i. e., 1 Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans) are not necessary because the fact that “the blessed Paul himself ” (ipse beatus apostolus Paulus) – following John (the author of Revelation) – wrote a total of seven letters guarantees their collective representation of truth  – seven signifying totality and universality. Without the negative particle non the Fragmentist appears to be disputing with Paul while referring to him as “blessed apostle” (ipse beatus apostolus paulus). The claim hearkens back to the principle in MF ll. 40–41 that truth is by definition plain (i. e., details do not need to be disputed) and to the theme of e pluribus unum (cf. MF ll. 16–26, 56–58). As noted above, Westcott speculates that de quibus singulis necesse est (“concerning the details”) may “refer to the treatise from which the Fragment is taken.”127 With respect to the Johannine writings in l. 28 and Acts in l. 36, the writer argues that singula (a variety of “details” within the individual books of scripture) need not jeopardize their reliability. In l.  46, singula refers to individual books themselves. The Fragmentist says that he has explained the compositional motivation behind three of Paul’s letters, but for the rest it is

124  Kuhn, Das Muratorische Fragment, 69. It is possible that “order and origin” pertain to the metaphor of the tree in Romans 11:11–24. 125  Nils Dahl points out that this theory was popular even after the inclusion of Hebrews made it obsolete (“Origin of the Earliest Prologues to the Pauline Letters,” 252). See discussion of Benedictine Prologues in Chapter 5. 126  Perhaps attributable to homeoteleuton: the scribe paused, then resumed writing, but skipped ahead because of the similarity of the two words beginning with the letter n, thus omitting the word non. 127  Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 545 n. 5.


Chapter Six: Commentary

not necessary as their number (seven) implies their unity and coherence.128 This statement is followed by a list of the letters albeit in an unusual order: (1) Corinthians (l. 50), (2) Ephesians (l. 51), (3) Philippians (l. 51), (4) Colossians (l.  52), (5)  Galatians (l.  52), (6)  Thessalonians (l.  53), and (7)  Romans (l. 53–54).129 The placement of Romans at the end instead of the beginning of the seven letters is notable.130 Following the list in ll. 54–57, the writer concedes that Paul wrote to the Corinthians and the Thessalonians twice, explaining that certain admonitions were repeated (iteretur, l. 55). Since admonitions were only “repeated” and not added, they do not corrupt the pattern of seven and its numerological representation of universal truth (ll. 55–57). Lines 57–59 report that John’s seven letters constitute a single universal message (una tamen per omnem orbem terrae ecclesia diffusa esse dinoscitur). The Pauline churches enumerated in this section are for the most part unremarkable, attested also in lists from Marcion to Irenaeus, Origen, and Athanasius.131 This list of seven churches appears in the collections of Hippolytus, Cyprian, Victorinus of Pettau, Pseudo-Chrysostom, Jerome, Isidore of Seville, and eventually in the Vulgate preface to the Epistles.132 Jerome acknowledges seven letters to churches, adding that the letters by the apostles James, Peter, John, and Jude also add up to seven.133 Before the fourth century, the specific

128  Where necessary, male pronouns are adopted for the Fragmentist without bias as to the actual sex of this anonymous author. 129  For a discussion of the order of Paul’s letters in this section, see Zahn, Geschichte, 2:343– 58. 130  See discussion of temporibus nostris (l. 74) below. 131  Responding to Charles H. Buck Jr., “The Early Order of the Pauline Corpus,” JBL 68 (1949): 351–57, Hahneman argues that whether the writer was presenting a comment, list, or catalogue had implications for its content (Muratorian Fragment, 86). He regards Tertullian’s canon as expressed in the form of “comment,” the Marcionite prologues as collections, and the Muratorian Fragment as a catalogue – a genre new for Christians in the fourth century (131, 132). He also discusses Marcion’s collection (90–93) and the establishment of the Fourfold Gospel, which Edgar J. Goodspeed dates to 115–125 ce, a phase of history in which Helmut Koester argues oral traditions persist. See E. J. Goodspeed, The Formation of the New Testament (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1937), 37–38; idem, An Introduction to the New Testament (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1937), 314; Helmut Koester, Synoptische Überlieferung bei den apostolischen Vätern, TU 65 (Berlin: Akademie, 1957); idem, Ancient Christian Gospels: Their History and Development (London: SCM, 1990), 1–34, esp. 9. Cf. Martin Hengel, The Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ (London: SCM, 2000), 61–65. Hahneman discusses the Pauline canon specifically at 110–25. See Gallagher and Meade, Biblical Canon Lists, 70–243. 132 Cyprian, Test. 1.20; Ad. Fort. 11; Victorinus, Comm. Apoc. 1.7, Fabr. Mund. 11; Jerome, Vir. ill. 5; Ep. 53.9. See Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 117; idem, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 4. Fortunatianus also knew a version of this tradition (Comm. Ev. 81; ed. Dorfbauer, 192, ll. 1942–46). 133  Jacobus, Petrus, Joannes, Judas Apostoli, septem Epistolas ediderunt tam mysticas quam succinctas, et breves pariter et longas: breves in verbis, longas in sententiis, ut rarus sit qui non in earum lectione caecutiat (Epist. 53.8; PL 22:540–49).

B. Commentary


tradition that Paul wrote to seven churches like John (Revelation) is only attested by Hippolytus (apud Dionysius bar Salibi) and Cyprian of Carthage.134 The third section (ll. 59–68) concerns Paul’s letters to individuals. The writer states that, out of affection and love, Paul wrote one letter to Philemon (ad Philemonem unam), one letter to Titus (et ad Titum unam), and two letters to Timothy (et ad Timotheum duas). He adds that these individual letters were consecrated by an order of ecclesiastical doctrine in honor of the catholic church (in honorem tamen ecclesiae catholicae in ordinationem ecclesiasticae disciplinae sanctificatae sunt, ll. 61–63) – an astonishing phrase if composed in the second century.135 As explained in Chapter 4, the closest parallels to this language appear around the year 400. Although the list of seven churches is attested in the second century, expansion of the collection of Paul’s letters to churches with the letters to individuals (i. e., Philemon, Titus, 1, 2 Timothy) does not occur until the third century.136 Moreover, a significant number of interpreters today estimate composition of the Pastorals as roughly contemporaneous with Pius – a hurdle for the Fragment’s second-century dating.137 Thirteen- and fourteen-letter Pauline letter collections (plus or minus Hebrews) occur in the fourth century (Mommsen Catalogue, ca. 360; Filaster, ca. 383) possibly influenced by Plato’s thirteen-letter collection.138 Absence of Hebrews in the Fragment  – not to mention James, 1 Peter, and 2 Peter – has spawned dozens of hypotheses, the most audacious of which is that it proves Hebrews was rejected in the West.139 Due to the particular difficulty of explaining why 1 and 2 Peter are excluded, some scholars speculate that the 134  Apropos of Sundberg’s argument (i. e., that the Fragment originated in the East), Ferguson notes that the tradition of seven churches representing one universal church appears in the West in Tertullian (Marc. 5.17), Cyprian, Victorinus, and Jerome (“Canon Muratori,” 680). 135  The cumbersome verbosity of the phrase elicits many questions, and the translation is tentative. What is the sense of honore? “By the authority of ?” “In respect of ” (e. g., an “ecumenical” decision)? What does ordinatio imply? Ordo has clear significance in the MF, but its sense may be more administrative here. Disciplina seldom occurs in discussions of the received books of the canon. 136  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 115–17. Second-century attestation of the Pastorals is minimal. Tertullian states that Marcion rejected them in Marc. 5.21. They are absent from 𝔓46, which may or may not suggest they were known (references available in Gallagher and Meade, Biblical Canon Lists, 41 n. 237). Hahneman argues that “there is no evidence that the Pastoral Epistles were part of the earliest Pauline collection(s)” (Muratorian Fragment, 116). According to Gallagher and Meade, however, they “do feature in every other [i. e., not 𝔓46] form of Pauline letter collection for which we have evidence … individually, there is attestation for their use as early as the Apostolic Fathers” (Biblical Canon Lists, 276–77, here: 276). 137  Martin Dibelius and Hans Conzelmann, The Pastoral Epistles, Hermeneia (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1972), 4; translated from the fourth revised edition, Die Pastoralbriefe, Handbuch zum Neuen Testament (Tübingen: Mohr, 1955). 138  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 119. 139  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 23, 119–25. Zahn, Geschichte, 2:358–62. On Hebrews, see Clare K. Rothschild, Hebrews as Pseudepigraphon, WUNT 1/235 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009).


Chapter Six: Commentary

“errant” copyist inadvertently skipped one or more lines mentioning these texts,140 depending on how the texts were presented (e. g., ad Hebraeos, Jacobi unam, ad Petram duas). Arguments for the omission of such a line(s) improve when the Fragment is compared with the duplicated excerpt from Ambrose, De Abraham following it in the Muratorian Codex. Since the second copy of the Ambrosian excerpt omits much present in the first, it is plausible that the scribe skipped a line in the copy of the Fragment which just precedes it.141

Two Spurious Letters Laodiceans Lines 63–68 introduce rejected texts. The Fragmentist denounces letters to the Laodicean and Alexandrian churches as inauthentic: specifically, forged in Paul’s name to advance Marcionism: fertur etiam ad Laodicenses,142 alia ad Alexandrinos Pauli nomine finctae ad haeresem Marcionis (“It is also said that there is [a letter] to the Laodiceans, and another to the Alexandrians, forged in Paul’s name for the heresy of Marcion”). Since the Fragment receives Ephesians (l. 51), the reference to Marcionite Laodiceans has three possible implications: (a) that the writer does not know that Laodiceans is a Marcionite name for Ephesians (Tertullian, Marc. 5.4); (b) that the writer knows Laodiceans is a Marcionite name for Ephesians but wishes to reject the version carrying this title; or (c) that the writer refers to the Latin Laodiceans (a different work) not attested until the fourth century.143 Latin Laodiceans, a forgery probably inspired by the  See Chapter 1.  There are a number of proposals for missing lines. If Hebrews is referred to as the letter to the Alexandrians (see discussion in the next section below), then it is outright rejected. In this case, James and 1, 2 Peter would have appeared in a single line overlooked by the copyist. See Lagrange, “Le Canon d’Hippolyte,” 186. Given the extensive use of 1 Peter in both the East and the West, Zahn and others explain its omission from the Muratorian Fragment as scribal carelessness. See Metzger, Canon of the New Testament, 200. An unexplored possibility for the exclusion might be a perceived anti-Jewish-Christian or judaizing-Christian sentiment (i. e., 1, 2 Peter, James, Hebrews). In his treatise on Abraham (three excerpts in the Muratorian Codex), Ambrose warns against intermarriage with pagans, Jews, and heretics. 142  Laudicenses (Zahn) 143  It is also possible that, at the end of his version of Marcion’s Apostolikon, Epiphanius saw both Ephesians and an additional epistle referred to as the Epistle to the Laodiceans but containing part of Ephesians 4 (The Works of Nathaniel Lardner, 5 vols. [London: Thomas Hamilton, 1815], 4:622–23). If this were the case, then the Fragment might reflect knowledge of the Panarion. According to Ferguson, the reference is either a mistaken reference to Marcion’s Ephesians or an argument for a much later date. He writes: “The reference to a Marcionite ‘Epistle to the Laodiceans’ (l. 64), if a mistake for the Marcionite Ephesians (Tertullian, Marc. 5.17), is an argument for an early date, since later this usage would be more readily be known. If the author mistook it for the Latin Epistle to the Laodiceans, then there is another argument for a western origin of the Canon Muratori, although the Latin Laodiceans is usually given a much 140 141

B. Commentary


reference to a letter to the Laodiceans in Col 4:16, consists of twenty verses taken from Philippians and other Pauline letters.144 It is widely attested beginning in the sixth century and included in some early printed editions of the New Testament.145 Harnack speculates that this letter was forged by a disciple of Marcion ca. 140–190 ce and regards the Fragment (dated in the second century) as the forgery’s terminus ante quem. While Tertullian explains that the Marcionites refer to Ephesians as Laodiceans (Marc. 5.11),146 Epiphanius (Pan. 42) lists both Ephesians and Laodiceans. Concerning this question, Ferguson rightly concludes that the reference is either a mistake or an argument for a much later date: The reference to a Marcionite ‘Epistle to the Laodiceans’ (l.  64), if a mistake for the Marcionite Ephesians (Tertullian, Adv. Marc. 5.17), is an argument for an early date, since later this usage would more readily be known. If the author mistook it for the Latin Epistle to the Laodiceans, then there is another argument for a western origin of the Canon Muratori, although the Latin Laodiceans is usually given a much later date.147

Tregelles argues that the Fragment’s reference to Marcion is “the clue”148 that the Fragmentist intends to exclude Ephesians (as altered and entitled “Laodiceans” by Marcion),149 even though it is included at l. 51 after Corinthians and before Philippians.150 However, M. R. James, J. B. Lightfoot, and J. K. Elliott debate the Fragment’s correlation of Laodiceans to Marcion.151 James thinks that the phrase ad Alexandrinos Pauli nomine finctae ad haeresem Marcionis in ll. 64–65 may refer only to the letter to the Alexandrians. The plural finctae would, however, rule out this possibility. later date” (“Canon Muratori,” 681). In a footnote treating the date of the Latin Laodiceans, Ferguson comments, “It [Epistle to the Laodiceans] survives only in Latin and [is] derivative [of ] western vernaculars. The earliest unambiguous external attestation is Ps.-Augustine, De divinis scripturis (fifth or sixth century), and the earliest manuscript is sixth century. But the work could have been composed from the second to fourth century–E. Hennecke et al., New Testament Apocrypha (London: Lutterworth, 1965), 2.128–31” (“Canon Muratori,” 683 n. 22). 144 Elliott, Apocryphal New Testament, 543–46; Lightfoot, Saint Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon (1880), 274–300. 145 Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 197. 146  Adolf von Harnack, Marcion: Das Evangelium vom fremden Gott, TU 45 (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1924; 11921), 134–49. 147  Ferguson, “Canon Muratori,” 681. 148 Canon Muratorianus, 47. 149  Nils A. Dahl argues that the so-called Marcionite prologues presuppose a non-Marcionite edition of what was essentially Marcion’s collection (“The Origin of the Earliest Prologues to the Pauline Letters,” 263; idem, “Welche Ordnung der Paulusbriefe wird vom Muratorischen Kanon vorausgesetzt?” ZNW 52 [1961]: 39–53; idem, “The Particularity of the Pauline Epistles as a Problem in the Ancient Church,” in Neotestamentica et Patristica, NovTSup 7 [Leiden: Brill, 1962], 261–71). 150  The Fragment includes canonical Ephesians in l. 51: ad Ephesios secunda. 151  M. R. James, Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon, 1983; 11924), 478; Lightfoot, Saint Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon, 290 n. 1; Elliott, Apocryphal New Testament, 553–54.


Chapter Six: Commentary

The Latin Laodiceans (even if it was originally Greek) is an obvious forgery. James refers to it as a “feebly constructed cento of Pauline phrases.”152 If the Fragmentist intended to exclude the Latin Laodiceans, he cannot have flourished earlier than the fourth century.153 Hahneman sums up this evidence: If traditionally dated, the Fragmentist must be seen either as confused, or as providing a unique Western witness for the rejection of the Latin Laodiceans over 150 years before any other extant mention of the work.154

Alexandrians The Fragment’s reference to a letter to the Alexandrians poses additional questions. Although it was once thought possible, the reference probably does not denote the letter to the Hebrews.155 As noted above, James, Lightfoot, and Elliott debate the Fragment’s correlation of both Laodiceans and Alexandrians to Marcion.156 The Fragment may imply a connection to Marcion for Alexandrians only: alia ad alexandrinos pauli nomine fincte ad heresem marcionis.157 Zahn believed he had discovered a part of a letter to the Alexandrians in an eighthcentury lectionary at Bobbio. The short liturgical epistle is entitled “Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians,” although it bears no resemblance to Colossians.158 A process of elimination leads Zahn to the conclusion that it comes from the otherwise unknown Letter to the Alexandrians: Darauf gründe ich die Vermuthung, daß wir das Stück jenes 16. Paulusbriefs vor uns haben, von welchem jener Hervé zu Bourg-Déols etwas zu wissen meinte; und da wir außer dem Laodicenerbrief im Abendland nur noch von einem Apostelbrief ad Alexandrinos hören, so vermuthe ich, daß das Stück aus diesem genommen ist.159  James, Apocryphal New Testament, 479.  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 197–99. Harnack and Quispel regarded Latin Laodiceans as a Marcionite forgery. Schneemelcher argues that the text is too short to judge. See Harnack, Marcion: Das Evangelium vom Fremden Gott, 134–49; Gilles Quispel, “De Brief aan de Laodicensen een Marcionitische vervalsing,” Nederlands Theologisch Tijdshrift 5 (1950): 43–46; New Testament Apocrypha, 2 vols., rev. ed. W. Schneemelcher; ET: R. McL. Wilson (Cambridge: Clarke, 2003), updated in Antike christliche Apokryphen in deutscher Übersetzung, 2 vols., ed. C. Markschies and J. Schröter (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012), 2:131. 154 Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 200. In his subsequent unpublished essay, Hahneman explains: “Epiphanius, just like Jerome and the Fragmentist, listed both the canonical Ephesians and another work called Laodiceans, which they all rejected as inauthentic (Pan. 42.9.4, cf. 42.13.14)” (“Victorinus,” 5). 155  Hesse, Das Muratorische Fragment, 201–2. 156  See n. 151 above. 157  Parallel to ll. 72–73 concerning the Apocalypse of Peter: quamquam quidam ex nostris legi in ecclesia nolunt (“although some of us do not want [them] to be read in church”). 158  Paris, BNF, lat. 13246. Zahn, Geschichte, 2.2:586–92 (1891). James, Apocryphal New Testament, 553–54 n. 1. 159  Zahn, Geschichte, 2.2:590 (1892); cf. 2.1:86. ET: “On this, I base the assumption that we have before us the piece of that sixteenth epistle of Paul about which that Hervé at Bourg152 153

B. Commentary


M. R. James does not consider this text an apocryphon and suggests an Irish provenance.160 J. K. Elliott adds the existence of “many other similar pieces scattered about in manuscripts called ‘preachings’ of Paul or the like, which are just centos of texts and precepts.”161 In ll. 67–68, this section of the Fragment concludes with an aphorism: “It is not acceptable that gall be mixed with honey” (fel enim cum melle misceri non congruit).162 Emphasizing the criticality of the church’s rejection of Laodiceans, Alexandrians, and other unspecified texts, the proverb paraphrases an early Latin version of Herm. Mand. 5.1.5–6, expressing the sentiment that the wrong text can blemish, blight, or otherwise spoil a canon.163 The Fragment reflects neither the Vulgate’s nor the Palatina’s version of this passage, each of which presents the adage in the form of a question using the word, absinthium (“wormwood”) as opposed to fel (“gall,” “bitterness,” “poison”).164 Whether gall or wormwood, its Déols thought he knew something; and since, besides the Laodicean epistle, we only hear of an apostolic letter to the Alexandrians in the West, so I suspect that the piece is taken from this [letter].” Zahn also remarks that this Bobbio codex contains an unusual biblical canon: “In dem Sacramentarium und Lectionarium Bobbiense, aus welchem … ein merkwürdiger Bibelkanon mitgetheilt worden ist, liest man folgende nicht minder merkwürdige epistolische Lektion” (587 [1891]). This canon is distinctive for an ostensible citation from Colossians. Because this passage is not present in extant versions of Colossians or Laodiceans, Zahn suggests it may be traced to Paul’s sixteenth letter, Alexandrians (590). French Benedictine exegete, Hervé of Bourg-Dieu (d. 1149 ce) (citing Gregory the Great on the perfection of 14) mentions sixteen letters of Paul, rejecting Laodiceans (PL 181:1354–55; cf. 181:9–10, 862, 1390–91; Zahn, Geschichte, 2.2:575 n. 3). On the career of this figure, see G. Oury, “Hervé de Bourg-Dieu,” DSAM 7.1:373–77. 160  Apocryphal New Testament, 480. 161  Elliott, Apocryphal New Testament, 554. 162 Tregelles observes, “It can hardly be doubted that the writer had these words of Hermas in his mind. It has also been noted that the similarity of sound, fel, mel, may imitate χόλη, μέλι” (Canon Muratorianus, 49). Cf. Zahn, Geschichte, 2.1:87–88. While the MF’s reference to Hermas makes this an attractive idea, there are plenty and enough Latin examples that one does not need to posit dependence on this source. 163  In Greek, the proverb is in the form of a question: “For if you take a very small portion of wormwood and pour it into a jar of honey, is not all the honey spoiled?” Cf. Mand. 5.1.5: ἐὰν γὰρ λάβῃς ἀψινθίου μικρὸν λίαν καὶ εἰς κεράμιον μέλιτος ἐπιχέῃς, οὐχὶ ὅλον τὸ μέλι ἀφανίζεται; καὶ τοσοῦτον μέλι ὑπὸ τοῦ ἐλαχίστου ἀψινθίου ἀπόλλυται· καὶ ἀπολλύει τὴν γλυκύτητα τοῦ μέλιτος, καὶ οὐκέτι τὴν αὐτὴν χάριν ἔχει παρὰ τῷ δεσπότῃ, ὅτι ἐπικράνθη καὶ τὴν χρῆσιν αὐτοῦ ἀπώλεσεν. ἐὰν δὲ εἰς τὸ μέλι μὴ βληθῇ τὸ ἀψίνθιον, γλυκὺ εὑρίσκεται τὸ μέλι καὶ εὔχρηστον γίνεται τῷ δεσπότῃ αὐτοῦ. This passage may be compared to Paul’s comment in Gal 5:9: μικρὰ ζύμη ὅλον τὸ φύραμα ζυμοῖ. The earliest Latin version of the Shepherd is possibly late second century: L1 (Vulgate) first published by Adolf Hilgenfeld, Hermae Pastor. Veteram Latinam interpretationem e codicibus (Leipzig: Reisland, 1873). Vat. Palatinus lat. 150 (and Vat. Urb. lat. 486, a copy of the former) is considered a fourth- or fifth-century translation: Oskar von Gebhardt and Adolf von Harnack, Hermae Pastor graece, addita versione latine recentiore e codice Palatino (Patrum Apostolicorum Opera 3; Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1877); more recently, Anna Vezzoni, Il Pastore di Erma: Versione Palatina: edizione critica, traduzione italiana, commento (Firenze: Le Lettere, 1994). 164 The Greek equivalent of Latin fel is χόλος. Vulgate version of Mand. 5.1.5: Si quis enim sumat absinthii pusillum et mittat in amphoram mellis, nonne totum mel exterminabitur? See


Chapter Six: Commentary

addition to honey not only ruins the taste but renders it unsafe, particularly for children.165 It was a favorite among ascetics for spoiling the taste of food and thus deliberately decreasing the appeal of its flavor.166 As editorial commentary, the saying hints at the purpose of the entire list,167 namely that biblical canons may be compared with food.168 A canon admitting the correct texts nourishes readers eliciting pleasure like honey, whereas a collection marred by the inclusion of incorrect texts threatens homeostasis and is even occasionally poisonous.169 Christian Tornau and Paolo Cecconi, eds., The Shepherd of Hermas in Latin, Critical Edition of the Oldest Translation Vulgata, TUGAL 173 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2014), 62. Palatina version: Sic quomodo si in vase mellis absinthium adicias, utique plenitudinem vasculi dulcissimi corrumpis … See Vezzoni, Il Pastore di Erma, 96. Extensive parallels (e. g., Lucretius, De rerum natura 4.11–22, Ovid, Amores 1.8) are collected by August Otto, Die Sprichwörter und sprichwörtlichen Redensarten der Römer (Leipzig: Teubner, 1890), 216–18 (s. v. mel, 216–17 #3, #4). Lucretius uses a similar trope when he speaks of adding sugar to sweeten foul medicine, justifying making poetry (sugar) out of philosophy (Epicureanism) (De rerum natura 4.1–25). The sense of the MF passage is the opposite: do not spoil what’s sweet with something bitter. Otto notes attestation in the Fragment in the footnote on p. 217. In general, the use of fel is inconsistent. Ignatius (Ign., Trall. 6 [deadly drug vs. honey) and Irenaeus (Haer. 3, PG 7:689 [sweetness vs. venom]; 932 [milk vs. lime]) use similar metaphors (poison/honey trope) to refer to the misuse of scripture. For canonical issues, Leo I applies fel to the apocryphal scriptures, particularly works circulating as “apostolic lives”: Quomodo enim decipere simplices possent, nisi venenata pocula quodam melle praelinirent, ne usquequaque sentirentur insuavia, quae essent futura mortifera? (Ep. 15; PL 54:688). Most examples imply some level of malicious deception, wherein honey is used to mask the taste of the gall. The Fragment communicates the same message but utilizes the less accusatory explanation of inherent incompatibility. See Augustine, C. Faust. 15: Faustus dixit: Quare non accipitis Testamentum Vetus? Quia et omne vas plenum superfusa non recipit, sed effundit: et stomachus satur rejicit ingesta. Proinde et Judaei ex praeoccupatione Moyseos Testamento Veteri satiati, respuerunt Novum: et nos ex Christi praeventione Novo referti, respuimus Vetus. Vos ideo utrumque accipitis, quia in neutro estis pleni, sed semi: alterumque ex altero in vobis non tam repletur, quam corrumpitur; quia et sema vasa nunquam de dissimili implentur materia, sed de eadem ac sibi simili, ut vini vino, mellis melle, et aceti aceto: quibus si dissimilia et non sui generis superfundas, ut melli fel, et aquam vino, et aceto garos: non repletio vocabitur haec, sed adulterium. Fifth-century usage adapts the metaphor to doctrinal as opposed to canonical issues. Additional literature includes Els Rose, Ritual Memory: The Apocryphal Acts and Liturgical Commemoration in the Early Medieval West (c. 500–1215) (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 25, 47; Florence Chave-Mahir, “Venenum sub melle latet: L’image du poison dans le discours anti-hérétique au Moyen Âge,” Cahiers de recherches médiévales et humanistes 17 (2009): 161–72. With gratitude to Jenna Timmons for this information. 165  See Clare K. Rothschild, “Somatic Effects of Irascibility in Hermas, Mandates 5.1.3 (33.3),” in New Essays on the Apostolic Fathers, WUNT 1/375 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017), 227–44, here: 237–38. 166  Since some ascetics used gall to decrease the appeal of food, this saying may express an anti-ascetic tendency. 167  Osiek, Shepherd of Hermas, 119–20. 168 The analogy of scripture and/or Christ to food and drink has multiple NT occurrences, including John 6:35, 7:37–39, and 1 Cor 10:3. Athanasius’s thirty-ninth Festal Letter (39:6) compares the biblical canon to water: fountains of salvation for the thirsty. Pauline milk and meat arise frequently in medieval exegesis. 169 According to Lewis and Short, fel is sometimes translated “poison.” In his review-article of Hahneman (Muratorian Fragment), Franco Bolgiani regards this line as significant for dating

B. Commentary


Pseudo-Isidore offers a saying with close resonances to the Fragment’s aphorism. In the context of ‘questions and answers,’ a question is posed about the meaning of Rev 10:8–9 concerning the command to eat the scroll: Dic mihi. In Apocalypsis, pro quid dicit: Accipe librum et comede illum. Et erit in ore meo dulci quasi mel et amarum in ventrem [c. ventre]? Respondit. Melleca [c. mellica] est scriptura in ore ecclesiae, qui sunt sapientes et fideles. Amara est in hereticis sevientibus.170 Tell me. In Revelation, for what reason does it say: “Take the scroll and eat it; and, it will be sweet as honey in my mouth and bitter in my stomach?” He answers: Scripture is honeylike in the mouth of the church, who (collective ecclesia) are wise and faithful; it (i. e., scripture) is bitter to raging heretics.171

Jude and 2 Johannine Letters Following this interruption concerning two rejected Pauline letters (i. e., Laodiceans and Alexandrians), the writer returns to the discussion of orthodox scriptures, addressing the reception of non-Pauline letters to individuals. Inclusion of the epistle of Jude and two letters of John would not be unusual had the writer not previously cited 1 John (ll. 29–31) and then (it seems) failed to list it. Lines 68–69 record: “Certainly, the epistle of Jude and the two written by John are upheld in the catholic [church]” (epistola sane iude et superscrictio iohannis duas in catholica habentur). In the fourth century, Eusebius enumerates seven catholic epistles (Hist. eccl. 2.23.25) although not all were accepted by all churches in his time.172 As noted above, Jerome adopts the seven-church scheme, also counting seven catholic letters: James, Peter (2), John (3), and Jude.173 It is somewhat surprising, given the Fragmentist’s penchant for the number seven the Fragment: “Anche questo piccolo argomento linguistico merita comunque una risposta, prima di dover giustificare una datazione così tarda per il FM quale propone lo Hahneman” (“Sulla data del frammento muritaniano: A propositio di uno studio recente,” Rivista di storia e letteratura religiosa 31 [1995]: 461–71, here: 471). 170 Robert E. McNally, “The Pseudo-Isidorian ‘De Vetere et Novo Testamento Quaestiones,’” Traditio 19 (1963): 37–50, here: 46. This text is almost certainly Irish, and its unique copy is dated on paleographical grounds to the mid-eighth century although it could be older. Cf. Ambrosiaster, Quaest. 76 (ed. Souter, 129–30). 171  Cf. Eucheria, Adynata 24; see Miroslav Marcovich and Aristoula Georgiadou, “Eucheria’s Adynata,” Illinois Classical Studies 13 (1988): 165–74, here: 165 (Latin), 166 (ET). Authors are silent on parallels for l. 24. Neither Ambrosiaster, in the passage offered, nor Ps.-Isidore specify fel, a word obviously chosen because of its similarity to and rhyme with mel. Although Tregelles (Canon Muratorianus, 49) thinks there was an attempt at replicating wordplay in Greek, the fel/ mel wordplay is sometimes considered proof that the document was originally written in Latin (see nn. 162 and 164 above). This passage has parallels in Chromatius and Ambrosiaster; see discussion on pp. 228–29, 326 (above). 172  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 125, 127. 173 Epist. 53.8


Chapter Six: Commentary

(ll. 48–49, 57–59), that the seven-letter scheme is not explicitly adopted for the individual letters.174 It is possible that readers are meant to tally the Pauline and non-Pauline individual letters together: Philemon, Titus, 1 and 2 Timothy (ll. 59– 60) with Jude and two Johannine letters for a total of seven, although this logic is not explicit. The question then arises as to which two of the Johannine letters the Fragmentist intends to accept. Since 1 John is cited in ll. 29–31, the assumption is that this is one of the accepted letters. At the same time, the reference to two letters should suggest 2 and 3 John, in the eyes of modern scholars anyway, closely related on stylistic and other grounds.175 Both Westcott and Tregelles believe that the reference to two letters denotes 2 and 3 John and that the citation in ll. 29–31 implies the independent acceptance of 1 John.176 Raymond Brown takes iohannis duas to refer to 1 and 2 John.177 Hahneman acknowledges that scholars find this line “particularly confusing”178 because in antiquity, 1 and 2 John did sometimes circulate together without 3 John. Irenaeus cites 1 and 2, but not 3 John (Haer. 1.9.3; 3.16.5, 8). Cyprian and Tertullian cite 1 John but not 2 and 3 John. Aurelius Chullabi (fl. 260 ce) cites 2 John but not 1, 3 John.179 Clement of Alexandria (Strom. 2.15.66) probably knows only 1 and 2 John.180 Discussions of 3 John always include 2 John, but not always 1 John.181 As Hahneman points out, with the possible exception of Papias (apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.39.17), no mention of 3 John is known until the third century, yet the letter’s narrow content and brevity might account for its omission.182 Peter Katz makes a few important observations about this section of the Fragment.183 Although elsewhere in the text catholica refers to ecclesia (ll. 61–2, 66), Katz argues that in ll. 68–69 (“the two written by John, are upheld in the catholic [church]”) catholica may denote epistola. Origen uses “catholic epistle” to refer to 1 John, Jude, Barnabas, and 1 Peter. Dionysius of Alexandria refers to 1 John as ἡ ἐπιστολὴ ἡ καθολική (apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 7.25.7, 10). Apollonius argues that  See discussion in Chapter 7.  Robert Kysar, “John, Epistles of,” ABD 3:900–12, here: 907. 176  Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 222, including n. 2; Tregelles, Canon Muratorianus, 49–50. See Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 14–15. 177  Brown, Epistles of John, 10. 178 Muratorian Fragment, 14 (the opinion of “many scholars”), 15 (the author’s opinion), respectively. 179  Sententiae Episcoporum no. 81, in W. Hartel, ed., Opera omnia, by Cyprian of Carthage, CSEL 3 (Vienna: Apud C. Geroldi Filium, 1868), 1:459, as cited in Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 15 n. 33. 180  According to Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 6.14.1), Clement (Hypotyposes) comments on all of the catholic epistles. 181  Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 6.25.10 and 3.25.3, cf. 3.24.18); cf. Amphilochius, Iambi ad Seleucum, 313–15; Jerome, Vir. ill. 9.18. 182  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 15. 183  Katz, “Johannine Epistles,” 273–74. 174


B. Commentary


Themison composed a pseudepigraphical catholic epistle as if by (most likely) John (apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 5.18.5), but for most of the second century, the expression, “catholic” was a cipher for “orthodoxy”: the heretics were partial, exclusive, aberrant, and local; the orthodox were “catholic” (i. e., universal).184 By the fifth century, Socrates and Theodoretus refer to 1 John as Ἰωάννου ἡ καθολική perhaps to distinguish it from the disputed letters, 2, 3 John.185 Based on the argument that the lines of the Fragment following those addressing the two Johannine letters involve a mistranslation from Greek (concerning authorship of the Wisdom of Solomon), Katz argues that the comment on the Johannine letters reflects the same problem. Reconstructing the Greek original as δύο σὺν καθολικῇ, he argues that the Fragment is a Latin transliteration rather than translation: dua[e] sin catholica (manuscript reads duas in catholica). By repositioning the s with -in (second word) rather than dua- (first word) the transliteration is clear and the meaning is “two with the catholic one.”186 In this case, “two” refers to 2, 3, John and καθολική refers to 1 John.187 Katz does not offer a Greek context in which 2, 3 John would be received but the challenge is not insurmountable especially after Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 3.24.17; 3.25.2).188 The crucial problem with Katz’s hypothesis is that catholica occurs three times in this section of the Fragment (ll. 61–69), all occurrences denoting the church (ll. 61–62 [Pastorals], 66 [Laodiceans, Alexandrians], 69 [John]).189 Furthermore, the next sentence concerning the apocalypses (ll.  70–73) again specifies the context of the church (although without catholica): “Also, we receive just the apocalypses of John and Peter, which some among us do not want to be read in the church.” I am not sure any conclusion can be drawn from this evidence except to repeat the speculative inference noted above that the Fragmentist accept184 For example, the connotation of catholica in Ign., Smyrn. aligns with the bishop and his ideas: ὅπου ἂν φανῇ ὁ ἐπίσκοπος, ἐκεῖ τὸ πλῆθος ἔστω, ὥσπερ ὅπου ἂν ᾖ Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς, ἐκεῖ ἡ καθολικὴ ἐκκλησία (“Wherever the bishop might appear, there let the multitude be; even as, wherever Christ Jesus is, there is the catholic church”). 185  A. Jülicher, An Introduction to the New Testament, trans. J. P. Ward (London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1904), 201. Disputed, for example, by Origen (apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6.25.10) and Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 3.25.2–3, cf. 2.23.25; 3.3.1). 186  Katz, “Johannine Epistles,” 274. 187  Katz regards the Fragment as “clearly pre-canonical” (“Johannine Epistles,” 273). 188  Armstrong argues that rare substantive use of catholica links the Fragment to Victorinus by one such instance in Comm. Apoc. 1.7 (“Victorinus of Pettau,” 25). Hahneman points out that the Benedictine texts (ll. 31, 39–40) possess two occurrences of ecclesia without catholica, suggesting that the Fragment (ll. 56, 66) may be defective. Hahneman concludes: “Thus ecclesia catholica is probably the original reading in those two lines in the Fragment. Perhaps just as the copyist of the Fragment twice accidently dropped catholica from ecclesia, he may have accidently dropped ecclesia where the substantive catholica appears here alone (l. 69)” (“Victorinus,” 8–9). 189  Katz’s hypothesis is clever and thoughtful, but difficult to accept. More likely, the word ecclesia dropped out. Alternatively, the word habentur in l. 69 (the only time it is used in the Fragment for a work that is accepted, usually recipere), may mean “to be considered” or “to be held,” with the faulty reading for catholicae: “they are considered catholic.”


Chapter Six: Commentary

ed seven letters to churches and likewise seven letters to individuals (Philemon, Titus, 1, 2 Timothy, Jude, 2 Johannine Epistles). This conclusion does not dictate which two of the three Johannine letters the MF accepts, although the direct citation of 1 John in the Fragment may, as others have concluded, imply that it is accepted.

Wisdom of Solomon In ll. 69–70, the writer discusses the Wisdom of Solomon: et sapientia ab amicis salomonis in honore ipsius (“and Wisdom, written by the friends of Solomon in his honor”). This line has elicited two substantial debates. The first concerns authorship of the Wisdom of Solomon; the second, canonical acceptance of this book. Concerning Solomonic authorship,190 many second- and third-century patristic witnesses accept Solomonic authorship of Wisdom including Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Cyprian, Pseudo-Cyprian, Pseudo-Hippolytus, Lactantius, and Cyril. Origen acknowledges that some commentators dispute the authenticity of this work.191 Augustine denies Solomonic authorship but cites the work often (ca. 800 times) and recognizes it as scripture and canon.192 The Fragment embraces a permutation of Solomonic authorship attributing it to Solomon’s friends. Concerning this passage in the Fragment, Tregelles laments, After many years’ study of the earlier Fathers, and much investigation of the subject of the canon of the Old and New Testaments, and the reception of the Apocrypha, I cannot find this authorship of the book of Wisdom mentioned by any writer anterior to Jerome.193

He thus concludes that Jerome knew the Fragment. Westcott (citing Bunsen) offers Hebrews as a parallel example of textual authority based on close association (i. e., friendship) with a canonical writer: In like manner the allusion to the book of Wisdom (Proverbs) is unintelligible without we suppose that it was introduced as an illustration of some similar case in the New Testament. Bunsen has very ingeniously connected it with the ancient belief that the Epistle to the Hebrews was attributed to the pen of a companion of St Paul, and not to the Apostle himself.194 Thus, that which was ‘written by friends of Solomon’ would be parallel with that which was written by the friend of St Paul. If the one was received as canonical, it justified the claims of the other.195

190 According to the Fragment, Wisdom was written “in honor of Solomon” by either Solomon’s friends or Philo of Alexandria. See Tregelles, Canon Muratorianus, 53–55. 191 Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 201. 192 Praed. 14.26–29; Doct. chr. 2.13. See Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 201. 193  Canon Muratorianus, 53, referring to Jerome, Prologue to the Books of Solomon. 194 Tertullian attributes Hebrews to Barnabas (Pud. 20). 195  General Survey of the History of the Canon, 245. Tregelles mentions this view in his essay,

B. Commentary


That said, the speculative quality of interpreting amicis at face value has prompted two other solutions. Conjecturing a Greek original, Tregelles argues that the Fragmentist misunderstood ὑπὸ Φίλωνος (“by Philo”) as ὑπὸ φιλοῖς (“by friends”) thus mistranslating the phrase as ab amicis.196 The second solution involves Proverbs 25:1 (LXX), which states that “the friends of Hezekiah” (οἱ φίλοι Εζεκιου) transcribed Solomon’s Proverbs. Bunsen argues that the Fragmentist is slightly misquoting this line.197 As Armstrong points out, “Because Proverbs 25:1 concerns the book of Proverbs and the Fragmentist’s statement is respecting the book of Wisdom, however, this hypothesis never achieved broad acceptance.”198 In his Commentary on the Song of Songs, Hippolytus attributes all of Solomon’s writings to the “friends of Hezekiah.”199 Since Victorinus of Pettau knows Hippolytus’s works, Armstrong argues that the Fragment’s attribution of Wisdom to the “friends of Solomon” reveals Victorinus modifying Hippolytus’s claim.200 Hahneman objects that Jerome’s view in Preface to the Books of Solomon that some thought Philo was the author of Wisdom is closer to the Fragment: “the literary relationship between the Fragmentist and Jerome appears more direct here, than that between the Fragmentist and Victorinus via Hippolytus.”201 Not to my knowledge considered in the debate thus far is how this line corresponds to the Fragment’s interest in the number seven as signifying the universal church. Wisdom is one of seven sapiential books included in the LXX together with Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (Song of Solomon), Job, and Sirach. Whether or not (with Armstrong) Victorinus is involved, Hippolytus’s attribution of all of Solomon’s writings to the “friends of Hezekiah” may suggest that sapientia in ll. 69–70 refers, not just to Proverbs (Tregelles) or the Wisdom of Solomon (Horbury), but to all seven wisdom books.202 “On a Passage in the Muratorian Canon,” Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology 2 (1855): 37–43, here: 38. 196  Tregelles initially proffers this opinion in The Historic Evidence of the Authorship and Transmission of the New Testament (London: Samuel Bagster, 1852), 16. It is repeated in “On a Passage in the Muratorian Canon,” 37–38. Chevalier Bunsen also adopts this position (Analecta Ante-Nicaena, 1:127.8). 197 Hippolytus and His Age (London: Longman, 1852), 2:137–38. 198  Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 26. 199  In Cant. (ANF 5:176; PG 10:629A). 200  Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 25–27. 201  “Victorinus,” 10. 202  On Ben Sira’s self-perception as Moses, see Burton Mack, “Under the Shadow of Moses: Authorship and Authority in Hellenistic Judaism,” in SBL Seminar Papers, 1982, SBLSP 21 (Chico, CA: Scholars, 1982), 299–318; idem, Wisdom and the Hebrew Epic: Ben Sira’s Hymn in Praise of the Fathers, Chicago Studies in the History of Judaism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985), 101–4; Jan Liesen, “First Person Passages in the Book of Sira,” PIBA 20 (1997): 24– 47; idem, “Strategical Self-References in Ben Sira,” in Treasures of Wisdom: Studies in Ben Sira and the Book of Wisdom: FS M. Gilbert, ed. Nuria Calduch-Benages and Jacques Vermeylen, BETL 143 (Paris: Peeters France, 1999), 63–74.


Chapter Six: Commentary

Finally, the Fragment says in honorem ipsius; in the line before we find the problematic in catholica. It is grammatically possible for ipsius to refer to the catholic church, producing a phrase that appears in l. 60. Thus, it is natural to take ipsius in this formula as referring to the church and aids the sense also. The second major discussion about Wisdom in the Fragment concerns its canonicity. In his 1994 article rarely brought to the discussion of the Fragment,203 William Horbury persuasively argues that scholars misread the Fragment on the rejection of both the Shepherd of Hermas and the Wisdom of Solomon.204 Based on the model of Origen, Eusebius, and others, Horbury demonstrates that the Fragment most likely receives Wisdom, not as a New Testament work or apostolic writing, but as first in a list of antilegomena (i. e., disputed works) from both testaments,205 followed by the three apocalypses of John, Peter, and the Shepherd (ll. 69–72), also regarded as antilegomena.206 Horbury points out that Athanasius, Rufinus, Epiphanius, Cyril of Jerusalem, Jerome, and the Stichometry of Nicephorus group antilegomena of both testaments at the end of their lists of received texts.207 What is more, Athanasius, Rufinus, Epiphanius, and Jerome all classify Wisdom as first of these ‘outside’ books,208 and Athanasius, Rufinus, and Jerome all categorize the Shepherd as an antilegomenon. In addition, Rufinus includes the ‘Judgment according to Peter,’ possibly identical to Peter’s apocalypse,209 in this category.210 In sum, the case for the Fragment’s acceptance of all four texts as “disputed” (i. e., including the Shepherd discussed below) is strong.211 It may 203 Schnabel

cites Horbury’s article (“Muratorian Fragment,” 249–50). of Solomon in the Muratorian Fragment,” 155. Hahneman reads Wisdom as included but the Shepherd as excluded from the canon (Muratorian Fragment, 200–5, 50–51, respectively). 205  Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 3.25) uses three categories for orthodox books: (1)  accepted or recognized (homologoumena); (2) disputed (antilegomena); and (3) spurious (notha). In this case, Wisdom, Revelation, the Apocalypse of Peter, the Shepherd of Hermas are accepted but remain (just) outside the canon. 206  “Wisdom of Solomon in the Muratorian Fragment,” 155. Horbury argues against Tregelles’s suggestion that sapientia refers to Proverbs, not the Wisdom of Solomon, in the Fragment (150). 207  “Wisdom of Solomon in the Muratorian Fragment,” 152–53. 208  Horbury, “Wisdom of Solomon in the Muratorian Fragment,” 156. Ferguson refers to the Fragment’s inclusion of the Wisdom of Solomon as “sufficiently anomalous to be problematic for any view” (“Canon Muratori,” 679). 209 The Fragment is not the only list of antilegomena to include the Apocalypse of John. Eusebius does too: ἐν τοῖς νόθοις κατατετάχθω καὶ τῶν Παύλου Πράξεων ἡ γραφὴ ὅ τε λεγόμενος Ποιμὴν καὶ ἡ Ἀποκάλυψις Πέτρου καὶ πρὸς τούτοις ἡ φερομένη Βαρναβᾶ ἐπιστολὴ καὶ τῶν ἀποστόλων αἱ λεγόμεναι Διδαχαὶ ἔτι τε, ὡς ἔφην, ἡ Ἰωάννου Ἀποκάλυψις, εἰ φανείη· ἥν τινες, ὡς ἔφην, ἀθετοῦσιν, ἕτεροι δὲ ἐγκρίνουσιν τοῖς ὁμολογουμένοις (Hist. eccl. 3.25.4). 210  The complicated reception of John’s Apocalypse will be handled in the next section. 211  The digression in ll. 73–78 treats either the Shepherd’s private versus public recitation or its recitation versus its publication. Lack of clarity on this point has led many interpreters to think that the Fragment rejects the Shepherd. Sundberg reflects this position: “The 204 “Wisdom

B. Commentary


be that the Fragmentist imitates the acceptance of Wisdom as first among the antilegomena, but intends by it all seven sapiential texts.212

Three Apocalypses Revelation Following the comment on Wisdom, the Fragmentist turns to the question of canonical, or possibly disputed (antilegomena), apocalypses. In ll.  71–72, Revelation and the Apocalypse of Peter are accepted (see above), although the writer explains that some prefer not to read one or both in church: “Also, we receive just the apocalypses of John and Peter, which some among us do not want to be read in the church” (apocalypses etiam Iohannis et Petri tantum recipimus quamquam quidam ex nostris legi in ecclesia nolunt).213 Similar to Col 4:16, Rev 22:10 (μὴ σφραγίσῃς τοὺς λόγους τῆς προφητείας τοῦ βιβλίου τούτου) appears to commend the reading of the text, which may imply that the objection to public reading pertains only to the Apocalypse of Peter.214 The reception history of Revelation is notoriously tricky. Up until the nineteenth century, most scholars assumed this text was written toward the end of the reign of Domitian (81–96 ce). In the nineteenth century, some migrated to an earlier date of composition between 64 (Nero) and 70 ce (destruction of Jerusalem). At the beginning of the twentieth century the tide turned back again, favoring a Domitianic date. With exceptions, this opinion still holds sway today.215 David Aune shrewdly accepts a both-and solution (Neronic + author of the Fragment is pleading a negative case against the canonicity of the Shepherd” (“Canon Muratori: A Fourth-Century List,” 10–11). Among early Christian texts, public reading is recommended in 1 Tim 4:13: ἕως ἔρχομαι πρόσεχε τῇ ἀναγνώσει, τῇ παρακλήσει, τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ; cf. Col 4:16. 212 In Athanasius’s thirty-ninth Festal Letter (39:7) Wisdom is categorized among the antilegomena, one of seven writings with Sirach, Esther, Judith, Tobit, Didache (“Teaching of the Apostles”), and the Shepherd. Athanasius says that these texts may be read by new members for instruction, but not included in the “canon” (PG 26:1436). For a recent investigation of this letter, see David Brakke, “A New Fragment of Athanasius’s Thirty-Ninth Festal Letter: Heresy, Apocrypha, and the Canon,” HTR 1031 (2010): 46–66. 213  The original reading quam lacks a feminine singular noun for its antecedent. It seems to refer to apocalypses, but the relative pronoun should be plural (quas). Most assume it refers to only the second of the two apocalypses, the Apocalypse of Peter, but this is slightly unusual grammar. The implicit object (subject of infinitive legi) would be understood, strictly, as ambiguous. The most natural way to take it is plural, in reference to both apocalypses. The passage may suggest that the topic of the MF is not canon per se but texts read publically across both East and West, that is, universally. 214  Cf. the similarly ambiguous phrase, Pauli nomine finctae ad haeresem Marcionis in ll. 64– 65, applying to both Laodiceans and Alexandrians. 215 David Aune, Revelation 1–5, WBC 52A (Dallas: Word Books, 1997), lvii.


Chapter Six: Commentary

Domitianic), arguing that a first edition of Revelation was composed in the 60s whereas the final redaction was completed toward the end of Domitian’s reign.216 Those arguing for the Domitianic date emphasize the relative silence about Revelation in the second century. Yet in Dial. 81.4, likely composed in the 140s, Justin Martyr states that John wrote Revelation in the past. Half a century later, Irenaeus favors the Domitianic date with others following suit (Origen, Comm. Matt. 16.6, ὁ δὲ Ῥωμαίων βασιλεύς; Victorinus, Comm. Apoc. 10.11, 17.10; Ambrosiaster, Quaest. 76.2; Jerome, Vir. ill. 9).217 Date of composition notwithstanding, these witnesses indicate wide acceptance of Revelation across the Empire. Clement of Alexandria and Origen both cite it.218 Other witnesses include Papias, Melito of Sardis, the author of a lost work reported by Eusebius and Jerome,219 Theophilus of Antioch (ca. 186 ce) (Autol. 2.28), Apollonius of Ephesus (ca. 186 ce) (apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 5.18.13), and eventually Epiphanius (Pan. 76.22.5) and Jerome (Ep. 53). Although he himself accepts the text, Dionysius of Alexandria (d. ca. 264; apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 7.25.4, 7, 26) records that some reject Revelation as an apocryphal work of Cerinthus (apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 7.25.1–2), and Dionysius may not have been alone in his hesitation. Eusebius, at points, seems not only to share this view, but imputes it to unspecified others (Hist. eccl. 3.24.18). At the beginning of the fourth century, Pamphilus in Caesarea (Apol. pro Origene) and Methodius of Olympus (Res. 3.2.9; Symp. 1.5; 6.5; 8.4; 9.3) repeat the claim. It is not until the middle of the fourth century that Cyril’s canon catalogue (the intention of which was to limit reading to universally accepted texts) and others omit it (Catech. 4.36).220 Because reservations about Revelation first arose in the East and ultimately precipitated its rejection there, Hahneman and those who locate the Fragment in the East encounter a problem. To address it, Hahneman emphasizes that, despite Dionysius and others, Revelation was still widely accepted in the second half of the fourth century,221 concluding that the Fragment’s inclusion of Revelation necessarily implies a western provenance only if it is dated in the very late fourth century (i. e., by which time it was rejected in the East). Returning to Horbury’s thesis about the position of Wisdom in the Fragment (above), the explanation  Aune, Revelation 1–5, lviii.  Clement of Alexandria accepts a tradition that Revelation was written on Patmos after the death of “the tyrant” (Quis div. 42) whom Eusebius specifies as Domitian (Hist. eccl. 3.23.5–19). 218  Paed. 1.6; 2.11; Strom. 6.13, 25; Origen, Princ. 1.2.10; 4.1.25; Cels. 6.6, 23; 8.17; Comm. Jo. 1.1, 2, 14, 23, 42; 2.4; 5.3, 4; 6.35. 219 Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 4.26.2; Jerome, Vir. ill. 24. 220  Apostolic Canons; Gregory of Nazianzus (Carm. 1.1.12, ll. 30–39, PG 37:474); Amphilochis (Iambi ad Seleucum 316–18). Neither the Syrian Catalogue of ca. 400 nor the Peshitta include Revelation. Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 143–44, cf. 23–25. 221  Muratorian Fragment, 25. 216 217

B. Commentary


that Revelation is accepted with the Wisdom of Solomon, Apocalypse of Peter, and the Shepherd of Hermas as antilegomena may satisfy any (East or West) post-Eusebian date. Apocalypse of Peter The Apocalypse of Peter probably originated in Egypt. It is known from (1) an eighth- or ninth- century Greek fragment; (2) an Ethiopic translation from the seventh or eighth century; and, (3) two small Greek fragments – one from the fifth, the other from the third or fourth century.222 If composed in the second century, the Muratorian Fragment is the earliest witness to this text. Clement of Alexandria regards the Apocalypse of Peter as scripture, citing it in Ecl. 41.1, 41.2, 48.1, 49.223 Later witnesses attesting this text, but not necessarily endorsing it as scripture, hail from the East: Theophilus of Antioch, Autol. 2.19; Catalogue Claromontanus (third-century eastern list); Methodius of Olympus, Symp. 2.6 (45.18) (late third century?),224 Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 3.25), Macarius Magnes, Apocriticus 4.6, 16 (early fifth century?),225 Sozomen (Hist. eccl. 7.19),226 The Sixty Books (fifth or sixth century),227 the Stichometry of Nicephorus (includes it in a list of the New Testament antilegomena), and the Armenian annalist Mkhitan (thirteenth century).228 In addition, eastern apocrypha such as the  M. R. James, “The Rainer Fragment of the Apocalypse of Peter,” JTS 32 (1931): 270–79, here: 278. 223  Cf. also, Hist. eccl. 6.14.1 in which Eusebius categorizes the work under antilegomena. The passage is unclear as to whether he represents his own or Clement’s opinion. Elsewhere (3.3.2) Eusebius classifies this text with the Acts of Peter, the Gospel of Peter, the Preaching of Peter, Acts of Paul, the Shepherd of Hermas, Barnabas, the Didache, Revelation (?), and the Gospel to the Hebrews as νόθοι (“spurious” but not heretical, cf. 3.25.7). Greek text: J. Armitage Robinson and M. R. James, The Gospel according to Peter and the Revelation of Peter (London: Clay and Sons, 1892), 89–93. 224  Methodius refers to the text as inspired (θεόπνευστοι). Herbert Musurillo, ed., Le Banquet, by Methodius of Olympus, trans. Victor-Henry Debidour, SC 95 (Paris: Cerf, 1963), 82–83. Cf. Athanasius θεία and θεόπνευστα (e. g., Decr. 15; Inc. 33.3, etc.) from 2 Tim 3:16–17, πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος καὶ ὠφέλιμος πρὸς διδασκαλίαν, πρὸς ἐλεγμόν, πρὸς ἐπανόρθωσιν, πρὸς παιδείαν τὴν ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ, ἵνα ἄρτιος ᾖ ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ ἄνθρωπος, πρὸς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν ἐξηρτισμένος (2 Tim 3:16–17). 225 T. W. Crafer, The Apocriticus of Macarius Magnes (London: SPCK; New York: Macmillan, 1919), 129–30, cf. xxv. 226 Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 207. Sozomen (ca. 400–450 ce) reports at Hist. eccl. 7.19 that this apocalypse is read in Palestine on the Day of Preparation: “The same prayers and psalms are not recited nor the same lections read on the same occasions in all churches. Thus, the book entitled The Apocalypse of Peter, which was considered altogether spurious by the ancients, is still read in some of the churches of Palestine, on the day of preparation, when the people observe a fast in memory of the passion of the Savior,” (trans. Hartranft, NPNF2 2:867). 227  Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 567–68. 228  Following Hahneman (Muratorian Fragment, 205–7). See C. Detlef G. Müller, “Apocalypse of Peter,” NTApoc 2:620–38; James, Apocryphal New Testament, 505–24. 222


Chapter Six: Commentary

Epistula Apostolorum, Sibylline Oracles Book 2, Acts of Paul, Acts of Thomas, and the Revelation of Paul seem to know it.229 Its earliest attestation in the West (other than the Fragment) is the fourth-century Latin Homily on the Ten Virgins (ll. 58–59).230 In this homily, the text is referred to with the formula scriptum est. Nevertheless, Eusebius, Jerome, and possibly the Codex Claromontanus (in which a horizontal line is placed beside the name), the Epistle of Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Acts of Paul may express hesitation about it. Gory descriptions of punishments may explain the reluctance.231 Hahneman argues that any discussion of the Apocalypse of Peter best matches a fourthcentury origin. Yet it must be said that the more natural setting for reservations concerning this text is western. Furthermore, quam quidam ex nostris legi in ecclesia nolunt (ll. 72–73) may originally have applied to both Revelation and the Apocalypse of Peter, opening up the possibility that the Fragment recommends an ameliorating canonical position on apocalypses: western (Revelation) and eastern (Apocalypse of Peter). Zahn finds such an explanation plausible yet232 historically impossible in the West: 229 On

the Epistula Apostolorum, see the new text and translation of Francis Watson, An Apostolic Gospel: The “Epistula Apostolorum” in Literary Context, SNTS Monograph Series 179 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020); idem, “A Gospel of the Eleven: The Epistula Apostolorum and the Johannine Tradition,” in Connecting Gospels: Beyond the Canonical/ Non-Canonical Divide, ed. idem and Sarah Parkhouse (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 189–215. 230  André Wilmart discovered and published the text: “Un anonyme ancien: De x virginibus,” Bulletin d’ancienne littérature et archéologie chrétiennes (1911): 88–102. See E. Klostermann, Apocrypha I: Reste des Petrusevangeliums, der Petrusapokalypse und des Kerygma Petri, KT 3 (Bonn: A. Marcus und E. Weber’s Verlag, 1908), 8–16. About this citation, M. R. James writes, “Within the last few weeks an entirely fresh and undoubted quotation of the A. P. has come to light in a Latin text edited by Dom André Wilmart in the first number of the new Bulletin d’ancienne littérature et archéologie chrétiennes. The text in question is an exposition of the parable of the Ten Virgins, preserved as a ‘Homily’ in an Épinal MS. It is considered by Dom André Wilmart to be a fragment of a series of Quaestiones on the Gospels, and he assigns it to the fourth century. On p. 37 is this sentence: Ostium clausum flumen igneum est quo impii regno dei arcebuntur, ut apud Danielum et apud Petrum in Apocalypsi eius scriptum est. Later on: Resurget et illa stultorum pars et inueniet ostium iam clausum, opposito scilicet flumine igneo” (“A New Text of the Apocalypse of Peter. II,” JTS 12 [1911]: 362–83, here, 383). 231  E. g., Apoc. Pet. (Akhmîm) 21, in which blasphemers are hanged by their tongues, women having committed adultery are hung by their hair, men by their feet, etc. Although popular in the second century, the Fragment cannot imply the Coptic Apocalypse of Peter for reasons not least of which is that it objects to the Shepherd (78.15–19) and would therefore be unlikely to reside next to it in any canon list unless the aim was to reconcile the two. Discussion in Klaus Koschorke, Die Polemik der Gnostiker gegen das kirchliche Christentum, NHS 12 (Leiden: Brill, 1978), 58–60. Osiek, Shepherd of Hermas 5, 6, 182 n. 6, 238 n. 56. 232  Zahn explains: “Unmöglich ist es ferner, solange nicht durch Worte, die nicht dastehen, oder wenigstens durch Änderung der Wortstellung die Apokalypse des Petrus von der johanneischen abgesondert ist, das folgende quam durch “welche letztere” zu übersetzen und somit den Satz quam quidam ex nostris legi in ecclesia nolunt auf die petrinische Apokalypse allein zu beziehen. Es scheint die Änderung in quas geboten zu sein. Aber wie könnte der Fragmentist

B. Commentary


Der Verfasser würde im Namen des kirchlichen Kreises, den er hier vertritt (recipimus), nichts Geringeres sagen, als daß die Apokalypse des Petrus ebenso wie die johanneische bei ihnen recipirt sei, und im Gottesdienste gelesen werde, nur daß gegen diesen Brauch einige sonst rechtgläubige Christen (quidam ex nostris) seines Kreises protestiren. In Alexandria könnte zur Zeit des Clemens Einer so gesprochen haben. Im Abendland war das unmöglich.233

As a result, Zahn posits the following Latin reconstruction in which “Peter” originally indicated 1 Peter: apocalypsin etiam Johannis et Petri [unam] tantum recipimus [epistulam; fertur etiam altera,] quam quidam ex nostris etc.234 Shepherd of Hermas The complications set in motion by the acceptance of the apocalypses of John and Peter is compounded by the addition of a third (ll. 73–80). No interpreter overlooks lines 73–77 devoted to the reception of the Shepherd of Hermas. Hahneman dedicates an entire chapter of his monograph to their interpretation:235 75

Pastorem vero nuperrime temporibus nostris in urbe Roma Hermas conscripsit, sedente cathedra urbis Romae ecclesiae Pio episcopo fratre eius236

But Hermas wrote the Shepherd very recently in our own times in the city of Rome, while his brother, Bishop Pius, was sitting on the seat of the church of the city of Rome (ll. 73– 77).

On a “plain reading,” these lines appear to internally date the text to the episcopate of Pius (140–161 ce). Depending on the treatment of other evidence,

bei seiner Verehrung für die Apokalypse des Johannes, und insbesondere bei seiner Ansicht, daß der Apostel darin zu der ganzen Kirche rede, so kaltblütig und beiläufig davon sprechen, daß einige katholiken oder einige Glieder seiner heimischen Kirche den Gebrauch dieser apostolischen Schrift im Gottesdienst nicht dulden wollen?” (Geschichte, 2.1:106–7). 233  “In the name of the ecclesiastical group that he represents here (recipimus), the author would say nothing less than that the Apocalypse of Peter, like the Johannine [apocalypse], is received by them, and is read in the worship service, only that some otherwise orthodox Christians of his circle, contrary to this custom (quidam ex nostris), protest. In Alexandria at the time of Clement one could have spoken like that. That was impossible in the West.” Zahn, Geschichte, 2.1:107–8; Kuhn, Das Muratorische Fragment, 97. 234  Zahn, Geschichte, 2.1:110 n. 1. 235  Hahneman argues that the Fragment contradicts internal data about the Shepherd, pointing to Herm. Vis. 2.8.3 (Clement of Rome) and Herm. Vis. 1–4 (reflecting persecution under Domitian or Trajan) (Muratorian Fragment, 42). 236 Lietzmann, Das Muratorische Fragment, 9–10.


Chapter Six: Commentary

Papias (60–130 ce) is probably too early to be the Fragmentist, Hippolytus (170– 235 ce) and Gaius of Rome (early 3rd century), too late.

Periodic Reading Albert C. Sundberg Jr. argues that the phrase, nuperrime temporibus nostris (l. 74) is not meant to be read literally.237 Rather, it implies a division between two incommensurate time periods: (1) the apostolic phase of the church from Jesus’s resurrection to roughly the year 100; and, (2) all time since that prophetic phase.238 According to Sundberg, since “our times” can refer to any time after 100 ce, it offers no help dating the Fragment’s composition.239 Sundberg argues that the phrase was only ever intended to explain the Shepherd’s rejection (i. e., the Shepherd is not an apostolic successor): The point of the argument is that the Shepherd of Hermas was written too late to be considered apostolic. And the conclusion of the argument for the late dating of the Shepherd refers not to the lifetime of the author of the Muratorian list but rather to the lifetime of Pius of Rome. Thus, the negative argument in the canon could be paraphrased as follows, Shepherd of Hermas was written “most recently” (that is, later than the apostolic books previously mentioned) “in our time” (that is, not in apostolic time) when Pius was Bishop of Rome. Thus, the language of Canon Muratori can be understood as making its case against the Shepherd of Hermas without any reference to the lifetime of the author of the list.240

Sundberg finds a precedent for the Fragment’s periodization of history in Irenaeus, Haer. 5.30.3): “For that [the revelation of John] was seen not a very long time ago, but almost in our own generation [σχεδὸν ἐπὶ τῆς ἡμετέρας γενεᾶς],” that is, post-apostolic times (cf. 1 Clem 5.1).241 237 Donaldson,

Critical History, 212. interpretation is arbitrary insofar as the year 100 ce did not have special significance in what would later be called the “second” century. The origin of the category “subapostolic” is as problematic as the expression “apostolic,” and both are scholarly desiderata (although see Deun, “Notion ἀποστολικός,” 41–50). 239  I.e., if Hermas flourished ca. 150 ce, and the Fragmentist, ca. 350 CE, both could still fit “our time.” 240  “Canon Muratori: A Fourth-Century List,” 11. Cf. Andrew W. Pitts and Stanley E. Porter: “It also explicitly dismisses other noncanonical books such as the Shepherd of Hermas” (Fundamentals of New Testament Textual Criticism [Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2015], 21). On the basis of its fragmentary state, Pitts and Porter excuse the Fragment’s omission of books later accepted as canonical. Yet books such as the Shepherd, which the Fragment accepts, are (ironically) understood to be dismissed. This points to the general importance of laying hopes aside in the historical assessment of the Fragment’s authenticity. 241  Sundberg, “Canon Muratori: A Fourth-Century List,” 9–10; cf. Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 35. Streeter also brings forward this prooftext (Primitive Church, 207). Irenaeus says of Revelation, “It was seen not long ago but almost in our generation (ἐπὶ τῆς ἡμετέρας), toward the end of the reign of Domitian” (Haer. 5.30.3; Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 5.8.6). Ferguson adds the 238 Sundberg’s

B. Commentary


Sundberg’s so-called periodic reading is typically rejected by scholars seeking to place the composition of the text in the second century and adopted by those defending a later date, often without interacting with the exegetical strategy.242 A notable exception is Ferguson who agrees that a periodic reading is possible, but identifies a potential contradiction in Sundberg’s Irenaean proof-text.243 Ferguson points out that, when Irenaeus uses the phrase “in our generation,” its purpose is to place the date of Revelation close to his own lifetime, that is: John, the author of Revelation is post-apostolic like Irenaeus.244 In other words, Irenaeus uses the expression to narrow the chronological gap between the composition of Revelation and himself. If this meaning is applied to the Fragment’s claim that the Shepherd was written “very recently, in our times,” the Fragmentist contracts the chronological expanse between the Shepherd and the Fragmentist – precisely the point Sundberg seeks through his periodic reading to deny.245 Hahneman supports and amplifies Sundberg’s case by arguing, not only that nuperrime temporibus nostris refers to a post-apostolic period and that this dating applies to the Shepherd, not the Fragmentist, but also that the so-called Fraternity Legend246 (dating the Shepherd to the time of Pius) is fraught with error. According to Hahneman, (1) the Shepherd of Hermas is unlikely to have been written when Pius was bishop of Rome,247 (2) Pius and the author of the Shepherd were unlikely to have been brothers,248 and (3) the Fragmentist is unlikely to have been the contemporary of either one.249 The Fraternity Legend occurs in three (likely) fourth-century witnesses: the Liberian Catalogue,250 the Carmen adversus Marcionitas, and the Letter of Pius to Justus of Vienne. In order to demonstrate the problems set in motion by its appropriation in the Fragment, each legend is now treated in turn.251

following corroborating evidence: “The same in 1 Clement 5. Eusebius, H. E. III.32.8 confirms the meaning ‘lifetime’: the Anonymous anti-Montanist in H. E. V. 16.22 uses ‘in our times’ to mean lifetime” (“Canon Muratori,” 682 n. 4). Eusebius cites Irenaeus’s opinion twice (Hist. eccl. 3.18.3; 5.8.6). To this evidence, Robert Grant adds that Basil of Caesarea, in his comment that Irenaeus “lived near the time of the apostles” may know this tradition (review of Muratorian Fragment, by G. Hahneman, 639). 242  Armstrong accepts a periodic dating (“Victorinus of Pettau,” 23–24). 243  Ferguson, “Canon Muratori,” 678; cf. Verheyden, “Canon Muratori,” 502–4. 244 Ferguson, “Canon Muratori,” 678. 245  “Canon Muratori,” 678. 246 I.e., that Pius is the brother of the author of the Shepherd. 247 Hahneman favors a date of 100 ce for the Shepherd (Muratorian Fragment, 71). 248 Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 52. 249  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 53–61. 250  Duchesne, Le Liber Pontificalis, 1:5. 251  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 51–61.


Chapter Six: Commentary

Other Witnesses to the Fraternity Legend Liberian Catalogue Also known as the Chronography of 354 ad,252 this early source possesses the following segment on Hermas: Pius ann. XX m. IIII d. XXI. fuit temporibus Antonini Pii, a cons. Clari et Severi usque duobus Augustis. sub huius episcopatu frater eius Ermes librum scripsit, in quo mandatum continetur, quae ei precepit angelus, cum venit ad illum in habitu pastoris. Pius 20 years, 4 months, 21 days. He was in the time of Antoninus Pius, from the consulate of Clarus and Severus [146] to that of the two emperors [161]. Under his episcopate, his brother Hermes wrote the book, in which are contained the Mandates, which an angel taught him, when he came to him in the garment of a shepherd.253

The main elements of this testimony – the brotherhood of Hermes and the apparition of an angel – occur again in other testimonies and will be examined below. Carmen adversus Marcionitas The Carmen adversus Marcionitas (CPL 36) is an anonymous didactic poem of 1302 hexameters in five books directed against Marcionites (1:141–44).254 It 252  Michelle R. Salzman, On Roman Time: The Codex-Calendar of 354 and the Rhythms of Urban Life in Late Antiquity, Transformation of the Classical Heritage 17 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990). 253  Part 13: “Bishops of Rome,” in Theodor Mommsen, ed., Chronica minora saec. IV, V, VI, VII, MGH, Auct. ant. 9 (Berlin: Weidmann, 1892), 73–76, here: 74. 254 Pollmann, Das Carmen adversus Marcionitas, 32–33. Holl dates the text to the late fifth or early sixth century (“Über Zeit und Heimat des pseudotertullianischen Gedichts adv. Marcionem,” 53). Contrast the argument of Hans Waitz, Das pseudotertullianische Gedicht Adversus Marcionem: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur sowie zur Quellenkritik des Marcionitismus (Darmstadt: Johannes Waitz, 1901). Pollmann notes that the formula: Filius, immense genitum de lumine lumen (4.29) is not attested prior to the Council of Nicaea (31). Both the Liberian Catalogue and the Carmen possess lists of early Roman bishops. Although the two lists match each other against the lists of, for example, Irenaeus, Eusebius, and Optatus/Augustine, in their separation of Anacletus into Cletus and Anacletus, these two lists preserve a different order. After the death of Pius, Hegesippus and Irenaeus give the following succession: Pius, Anicetus, Soter, and Eleutherus. The Liberian Catalogue makes Pius successor to Anicetus. George Edmundson points to other anomalies; for example: “The deaths of St. Peter and St. Paul are stated to have taken place in 55 a. d. Clement succeeds Linus in 67 a. d., and Anencletus, the real successor of Linus, is duplicated and follows Clement, first as Cletus, then as Anacletus. Clement’s death is recorded as having occurred sixteen years before he became bishop according to the generally received date. Nor were the errors confined to the firstcentury episcopates. The Hippolytean source is not even accurate about Pope Pius himself, who in the words of the ‘Muratorian Fragment’ lives ‘very recently in our own times.’ Hegesippus and Irenaeus, both of whom stayed some time in Rome soon after the death of Pius, both give the order of succession as Pius, Anicetus, Soter, Eleutherus. The Liberian Catalogue makes Pius

B. Commentary


was probably composed on the basis of Tertullian’s Adversus Marcionem and is, therefore, falsely attributed to him (frequently: “Pseudo-Tertullian”).255 The poem attacks Marcionite rejection of the Jewish scriptures, dismissal of certain early Christian texts, and Docetic claims about Christ’s nature. The text demonstrates clear interest in the unity of the Old and New Testaments. Book 3 addresses the ecclesia ab Abel.256 The lines of the Carmen treating the Pius-Hermas legend are as follows: 294 post hunc [Hyginum] deinde Pius, Hermas cui germine frater, 295 angelicus pastor cui tradita verba locutus;257 294 Then after him [Hyginus] came Pius, whose brother by birth was Hermas, 295 to whom an angelic shepherd spoke the words that have been handed down.

Similar to MF ll. 73–75 and the Liber Pontificalis, the Carmen adversus Marcionitas records that Pius had a brother named Hermas. Most scholars place the Carmen before the composition of the LP, yet claims about directional reliance face the successor of Anicetus instead of the predecessor. The conclusion then that we are compelled to draw is that this particular piece of external evidence for the date of The Shepherd cannot be accepted as authoritative in face of the internal evidence of the book itself. Probability points to its having arisen through a confusion between the name of the author and the title of his work. Bishop Pius, according to a very ancient tradition, had a brother named Pastor, who was a presbyter. Now in the Latin version known as ‘Vulgate,’ which probably dates from the end of the second century, the title of Hermas’ book is Liber Pastoris. This version was thus contemporary with the Muratorian Fragment. It required but a single step therefore to identify the presbyter Pastor with the author of the allegory. The Liber Pontificalis, while embodying the biographical notice of Pius I which is found in the Liberian Catalogue prefaces it by another paragraph in which this pope is spoken of as “the brother of Pastor.” There is no attempt to fuse this statement with that concerning Hermas – they are separated from one another by intervening matter. Indeed in the two earliest forms of the Liber Pontificalis that we possess, the so-called ‘Felician’ and ‘Cononian’ abridgments, the compiler of the ‘Cononian,’ evidently perceiving the incongruity of the double reference to a brother, deliberately refuses to apply the term to Hermas, the words frater ipsius being omitted” (The Church in Rome in the First Century, Oxford Bampton Lectures [London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1913], 154–76, here: 156–58). 255  Karl W. Holl, “Über Zeit und Heimat des pseudotertullianischen Gedichts adv. Marcionem,” Gesammelte Aufsätze 3 (Tübingen: Mohr, 1928), 13–53; original publication, Sitzungsberichte der Königlich Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften Berlin 27 (1918): 514–59. Cf. Harnack, Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur, 2:442 n. 4. Hahneman summarizes most of the issues (Muratorian Fragment, 58–61). 256  Karla Pollmann, “Carmen adversus Marcionitas,” BNP, consulted online on January 7, 2019, See the early work of M. Müller, Untersuchungen zum Carmen adversus Marcionitas (Ochsenfurt a. M.: Fritz und Rappert, 1936), based on a dissertation of Würzburg from 1935, and now updated in Karla Pollmann, Das Carmen adversus Marcionitas: Einleitung, Text, Übersetzung und Kommentar, Hypomnemata 96 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1991). For a further discussion of the ecclesia ab Abel, see Augustine, Civ. 15. 257  Hahneman (Muratorian Fragment, 52) and Verheyden, (“Canon Muratori,” 509, n. 107) insert a comma between pastor and cui, which obfuscates the sense. Pollmann (Das Carmen adversus Marcionitas, 103) takes it in a way that corresponds to the translation here. Cui in the second line refers back to Hermas. Pastor is the subject of locutus (est).


Chapter Six: Commentary

difficulties.258 Marta Müller (1936) argues that the Carmen is literarily reliant on the LP.259 Hahneman explains the issues involved in both inferences: The order of bishops given in the Carmen is unique among early lists, but reveals the same separation of Cletus and Anacletus into two persons, as does the Liberian Catalogue. The confusion of Cletus and Anacletus into two different people was probably a scribal error originating in one of the emendations of the Liberian Catalogue. If so, it is more likely that the author of the Carmen was dependent for his papal list on an edition of the Liberian Catalogue than that an editor of the Catalogue should rely upon an anti-Marcionite poem. There is a definite literary connection here between the Carmen and the Liberian Catalogue, and between both of these with the Fragment.260

Following Haussleiter, J. J. Armstrong argues that Victorinus (Commentarius in Apocalypsin) wrote the Carmen and the Fragment.261 Still, the Fragment differs from the other accounts expanding the tradition to include: (1) that Hermas wrote the Shepherd while his brother was bishop of Rome; and, (2) that it cannot be read or published among the prophets or the apostles (ll. 77–80). The reference to publication of the Shepherd neither “among the prophets” (inter profetas, ll. 78– 9) nor “among the apostles” (inter apostolos, ll. 79–80) may refer to the Old and New Testaments respectively, as the expressions “prophets” and “apostles” signify the two canons in many second- and third-century witnesses.262 Completo numero (“complete in number,” l. 79) probably implies that the OT canon is closed, while in fine temporum (“limited to a [fixed] period of time,” l. 80), may have a similar meaning.263 Both expressions are elliptical, as if the author is paraphrasing from a longer text, sacrificing clarity for the sake of brevity.264 Probably correctly,  In both cases, the tradition may have been modified in light of the Shepherd (text) itself.  Müller, Untersuchungen zum Carmen adversus Marcionitas, 7–38. Müller dates this text to before the First Council of Nicaea. No manuscripts of the text remain today. George Fabricius first published this text in 1564 from a manuscript that belonged to John Heroldus of Basel. A similar manuscript, now lost, is recorded in the ninth-century catalogue of the library of Lorsch (MS Vatican, BAV, Pal. lat. 1877 in Becker, Catalogi Bibliothecarum Antiqui, 111, no. 446). Two centos extracted from this work are ascribed to an unknown Victorinus:  Versus de lege domini and Versus de nativitate, vita, passione et resurrectione domini, both in MS Vatican, BAV, Reg. lat. 582 (9th–10th century). The former was edited by A. Oxé, the latter by Angelo Mai. Comparison with the editio princeps reveals that Fabricius was an arbitrary editor, particularly in Book 3.  Jean Liron (1740) described him as “editor or rather corruptor of ancient texts,” utilizing “too great liberty,” and “criminal and scandalous infidelity” (Pollman, Das Carmen adversus Marcionitas, 12–13). 260  Hahneman, “Victorinus,” 6. 261  Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 21. Johannes Haussleiter, “Die Kommentare des Victorinus, Tichonius und Hieronymus zur Apocalypse,” Zeitschrift für kirchliche Wissenschaft und kirchliches Leben 7 (1886): 254–56; idem, “Victorinus von Pettau,” RE 20:618. 262  2 Clem 14.2; Pol., Phil. 6.3; Justin, 1 Apol. 76.3; Irenaeus, Haer. 3.19.2; 24.1; Hippolytus, Comm. Dan. 4.12.1; Tertullian, Pud. 12.2; Origen, Princ. 4.2.7. 263  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 202–3. 264  Although he does not reference the Fragment, Bovon probably describes the category of text to which this passage alludes, namely, non-canonical texts surviving for centuries “read and copied with enthusiasm” although never (in this case “not ultimately”) accepted as holy 258 259

B. Commentary


Hahneman concludes that the Fragment’s elaborations on the tradition suggest that, at most, it represents a witness that “would be contemporaneous with the other surviving testimonies,” i. e., in the fourth century.265

Liber Pontificalis The Liber Pontificalis (LP) is a list of brief “serially-compiled,” formulaic papal biographies.266 Known by the names, Gesta or Chronica pontificum, at certain times in history this compilation enjoyed widespread distribution. Many manuscripts containing this text begin with a fictional correspondence between Damasas and Jerome. During the Middle Ages, Jerome was thought to be the author of the biographies in the LP up to Damasus I (366–383 ce). The purpose of the collection from its inception was to create an orderly papal succession narrative within the institution of the church. To this end, the biographical entries are standardized. Most contain the pope’s name, origin, the duration of his pontificate, various legal acts that he performed, buildings he ordered to be constructed, ordinations he performed, important contemporary events, the date he vacated the papal seat, his death, and funeral.267 Today scholars speak of two editions of the LP. A first edition is inferred from two extant epitomes.268 The first edition goes down to 530 ce (Felix IV ); the second goes past this date.269 The second edition is the standard text. Minor difScripture or a part of the church’s public worship but not apocryphal. They are a part of an ignored, third category of “useful” or “profitable” (utilis) texts (instrumenta) noted by Origen (Comm. Rom. 10.31; PG 14:1282) and others including Luther (“Beyond the Book of Acts: Stephen, the First Martyr, in Traditions Outside the New Testament Canon of Scripture,” Perspectives in Religious Studies 32 [2005]: 93–107, here: 101–2). 265  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 60–61. 266  In this section, I am reliant on Gert Melville, “Liber Pontificalis,” BNP, consulted online on January 7, 2019, The two-word quoted expression is Melville’s. Additional important bibliography includes Albert Brackmann, “Der Liber Pontificalis,” in idem, Gesammelte Aufsätze: Zweite erweiterte Auflage (Köln: Böhlau, 2 1967), 382–396; Ottorino Bertolini, “Il ‘Liber Pontificalis,’” in La storiografia altomedievale, Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull’alto medioevo 17 (1970): 387–455; Harald Zimmermann, Das Papsttum im Mittelalter: eine Papstgeschichte im Spiegel der Historiographie: mit einem Verzeichnis der Päpste vom 4. bis zum 15. Jahrhundert, UTB für Wissenschaft 1151 (Stuttgart: Eugen Ulmer, 1981); G. Melville, “De gestis sive statutis Romanorum,” Archivium Historiae Pontificiae 9 (1971): 377–400. 267 Gert Melville, “Liber Pontificalis.” 268 Raymond Davis, trans., The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis): The Ancient Biographies of the First Ninety Roman Bishops to a. d. 715, Translated Texts for Historians 6 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 22000; 11989]), xlvi–xlvii and “Pius,” at 5, 98. Theodor Mommsen’s reconstruction (“Ordo et spatia episcoporum Romanorum in Libro Pontificali,” Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde 21 [1894]: 333–57) differs from Duchesne’s, but according to Davis, scholars today agree in large part with Duchesne (Book of Pontiffs, xlvii). 269 The earliest manuscripts come from the seventh and eighth centuries (Davis, Book of Pontiffs, xlvii).


Chapter Six: Commentary

ferences exist between the two. The author of the standard edition’s eyewitness account begins at the end of the fifth century, explaining the greater detail in the early-sixth-century biographical sketches.270 The first edition must thus have been written between 530 ce and the date of the second edition. The author of the second edition was an opponent of Boniface II and Silverius. According to Davis, he completed the work before 546 ce.271 From this date for the next eighty years, the biographies appear to have been discontinued. Accounts resume during the pontificate of Honorius (625–638). From 640 onward, documentation was contemporaneous to Stephen (885–91), and later Eugene IV (d. 1447) and Pius II (1464). With some exceptions, the style of biography in the older sections is more uniform, with newer sections exhibiting greater diversity. The oldest section was composed on the basis of chronographical data such as the so-called Index and the Catalogus Liberianus, segments filled out from texts, including Jerome, Vir. ill. and the so-called Symmachian Forgeries.272 It contains information about early donations to the church and the construction of papal buildings. Authors of the later sections – some group, and other individual supplements – may have belonged to the Curia or the papal vestiarium.273 At a few points, the biographies integrate historical comments such as the name of an emperor. The first segment on Peter refers to his crucifixion under Nero: Passus autem cum Paulo die iii kl. iulias, cons. ss., imperante Nerone.274

The tenth biography on Pius, early bishop of Rome (11.2), locates him during the reign of Antoninus Pius: Fuit autem temporibus Antonini Pii, a consolatu Clari et Seueri (146) (l. 1).275 In this biography, the writer mentions Pius’s brother Hermas.276 Hermas is said to be the one who wrote a book that was revealed 270  The author’s first clear opinion is expressed with regard to Anastasius II: “struck down by God’s will” (Davis, Book of Pontiffs, xlvii). 271  Davis, Book of Pontiffs, xlvii. 272  Eckhard Wirbelauer, “Symmachian Forgeries,” BNP, consulted online on January 7, 2019, 273  Gert Melville, “Liber Pontificalis,” BNP, consulted online on April 23, 2020, http://dx.doi. org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e703650. 274 LP 1.8–10 in Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, 1:2 (Philocalien text). The second edition has a different text: post hanc dispositionem martyrio cum Paulo coronatur, post passionem Domini anno XXXVIII (l. 6). 275 The Philocalien text is similar in l. 1 of Pius’s biography: Pius ann. XX m. IIII d. XXI. Fuit temporibus Antonini Pii, a cons. Clari et Severi usque duobus Augustis. (Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, 1:4). 276  It is unclear whether the same redactor inserted both traditions and which redactor or redactors it was. Hahneman notes the possibility that the Hermas tradition arose in response to Origen’s statement in his Commentary on Romans (ca. 244 ce) that the Shepherd was written by the Hermas mentioned in Rom 16:14 (Muratorian Fragment, 60). See also J. K. Elliott, Review of Muratorian Fragment, by G. Hahneman, 298. Some scholars trace these comments to

B. Commentary


to him by an angel wearing a shepherd’s cloak (cf. MF ll. 37–38, 73–80). In the longer redaction of this passage, the angel also reveals when Easter should be celebrated:277 Sub huius episcopatum Hermis librum scripsit in quo mandatum continet quod ei praecepit angelus Domini, cum uenit ad eum in habitu pastoris; et praecepit ei ut Pascha die dominico celebraretur.278 Hermas wrote a book, under his [Pius’s] bishopric, in which he preserves a commandment with which the angel of the Lord charged him, when he came to him in the cloak of a shepherd and instructed him that Easter be celebrated on the Lord’s day.

As noted above, the legend concerning the relationship of Pius to the Shepherd of Hermas may simply be traced to a genuine brother of Pius whose name was Pastor.279 The association of Easter with the Shepherd can be explained as the pious expansion of the Fraternity Legend itself, which we know to exist earlier in the Carmen adversus Marcionitas and Liberian Catalogue without the Easter detail. If we add the tale Faith Wallis records of an angel confirming the Easter date, elements of the LP locution on Hermas-Pius fall into place.280 Pius’s association with Easter may have been taken from the LP’s biography of Pope Victor in which involvement in the Easter problem is clearly likened to Pius’s.281 In the the final version (354 ce). According to Lightfoot the four documents compiled in the Liberian Catalogue around 354 are: Commemoration-Days of Bishops and Martyrs, the Chronicle of the World, the Chronicle of the City, and the Regions of the City (Apostolic Fathers, 1.1:264–66). Mommsen refers to the compiler as the ‘Chronographer of 354’ (Über den Chronographen vom Jahre 354: Mit einem Anhang über die Quellen der Chronik des Hieronymus [Leipzig: Weidmann, 1850], 594–98, 637–44). See Salzman, On Roman Time, 47–50. 277  Longer redaction: Pius primus, natione italicus, ex patre Rufino, fratre Pastoris, de civitate Aquileia …. Sub eo Hermes librum scripsit, in quo continetur mandatum quod ei praecepit angelus, ut sanctum pascha die dominica celebretur (Angelo Mai, Spicilegium Romanum [Rome: Typis Collegii Urbani, 1839], 6:19, as cited in Tregelles, Canon Muratorianus, 62). Raymond Davis translates: “Pius, born in Italy, son of Rufinus, brother of Pastor, from the city of Aquileia, held the see 19 years 4 months 3 days. He was bishop in the time of Antoninus Pius, from the consulship of Clarus and Severus” (Book of Pontiffs, 5). 278  This text is cotransmitted in MS Vatican, BAV, Vat. lat. 3764, fol. 11r. Some of the variant versions of this passage give continetur, which might be easier. E. g., Philocalien text: Sub huius [Pii] episcopatu frater eius Ermes librum scripsit in quo mandatum continetur, quae ei precepit angelus, cum venit ad illum in habitu pastoris (Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, 1:4). Cf. Duchesne’s “Emprunts du Liber Pontificalis”: Sub huius [Pii] episcopatu frater ipsius Hermis librum scripsit in quo mandatum continet, quod ei precepit angelus Domini cum venit ad eum in habitu pastoris (Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, 1:4). Hahneman treats this passage, although only one abbreviated version of the text (Muratorian Fragment, 51–52). 279  Another legend claims that St. Pastor, the holy shepherd, was just another way of referring to Peter. See Davis, Lives of the Ninth-century Popes, 129 n. 72. 280 See Bede, Reckoning of Time, trans. Faith Wallis, 118 (example of an angel confirming the date of Easter); 202 (reference to this story of Hermas presumably adopted from the LP). In the protracted East-West disputes over the date of Easter, the use of angelic authority was sometimes used to bolster authority. 281  The date of Easter – hardly a minor question, but not a problem for the canon and thus the


Chapter Six: Commentary

sixth century, tracing controversial issues to early popes was common and disputes on paschal dating between eastern churches and the church at Rome were ongoing.282 Similarly, the Decretum Gelasianum (or Decretum de libris recipiendis et non recipiendis) – appearing often in patristic, liturgical, and literary-historical manuscripts – traces interest in permitted (versus forbidden) scriptures to the early popes Damasus and Gelasius.283 As Louis Duchesne demonstrated, the LP was contrived in the sixth century as an argument for the primitive origin and authority of the medieval papacy.284 Popularity of the Shepherd in the Middle Ages explains the LP’s inclusion of the Fraternity legend.285 If the Fragment’s inclusion of the Fraternity Legend reflects literary reliance on the LP, it is dated after the earliest possible date of the LP’s first edition in 530 ce; however, to demonstrate dependence, one would want to see other details in the LP taken over in the MF and an earlier date remains entirely viable.

Spurious Letters of Pius Letter to All Churches about the Date of Easter A final witness of the Fraternity Legend, cited by Tregelles286 but ignored by Hahneman, surfaces in a letter addressed by Pius to all churches regarding the MF – arises with connection to a striking number of traditions directly or indirectly connected to the Fragmentist, including Hermas/Pastor, Polycrates of Ephesus (Jerome, Vir. ill. 45), John IV (and as a consequence Bede), and Pius I. On the connection to Pius, see Mary M. Schaefer, Women in Pastoral Office: The Story of Santa Prassede, Rome (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 27 (on the MF specifically: 16, 26, 31 n. 106, 181). When the Liber Pontificalis connects the date of Easter to the revelation imparted to Hermas (which Bede repeats), it is based on the tradition recorded in the LP under the entry for Pius’s successor Victor that held Pius to institute the Roman date for celebrating the resurrection. Victor himself is the recipient of the only extant writing by Polycrates on the Easter question. Furthermore, Schaefer’s fascinating discussion of the cult and worship sites of Pudentiana and Praxeles materials suggests that the so-called Fraternity Legend was intended to locate the Pastor’s house and cult, set under Antoninus Pius (138–161 ce), to the time of Pope Pius (140/45–155/57 ce). It may explain a tradition known otherwise in the customs of veneration at that church. This church offers an archaeological comparandum about Hermas (Pastor)-Pius that scholars, usually focused on texts, have overlooked. Cf. Claudia Angelelli, La basilica titolare di S. Pudenziana: Nuove ricerche, Monumenti di antichità Cristiana 21 (Rome: Pontificio istituto di archeologia cristiana, 2010), 1–38. Angelelli has gone through the sources thoroughly and is duly cautious about them. The Fragment earns a mention there, with references to the prior scholarship that forged the link between the Pastor of Santa Pudenziana and the Fragment’s Hermas story (21). 282 Jasper and Fuhrmann, Papal Letters, 139–44. 283 Jasper and Fuhrmann, Papal Letters, 31 n. 130. See discussion in Chapter 4. 284  Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, 1:1–12. 285  Osiek, Shepherd of Hermas, 6–7. 286  Canon Muratorianus, 61, including note “s.”

B. Commentary


date of Easter. The letter forms part of the first section of sixty decretals ascribed mostly to early pontiffs in the False Decretals of Isidorus Mercator or Pseudo-Isidore.287 This important collection of papal and legal forgeries probably originated in the abbey of Corbie in northern France in the 830s and was elaborated over the next two decades, before citations and active use first appear in the Carolingian realm. The report in the letter presents elements that are already familiar: Caeterum nosse vos volumus, quod Pascha domini die dominica annuis solemnitatibus sit celebrandum. Istis temporibus ergo Hermes doctor fidei et scripturarum effulsit inter nos, et licet nos idem pascha praedicta die caelebremus et quidam inde dubitarent, ad corroborandas tamen animas eorum eidem Herme angelus domini in habitu pastoris apparuit et precepit ei, ut pascha die dominico ab omnibus celebraretur tempore suo.288 Moreover, we want you to know why the Easter of the Lord is to be celebrated with annual observations on the Lord’s day. In these times, therefore, Hermes [Hermas?], an instructor of the faith and scriptures, shone among us. And although we celebrate Easter on the aforementioned day and some people had doubts about this, nevertheless, so as to reinforce their souls, an angel of the Lord appeared in shepherd’s clothes to the same Hermas and instructed him that Easter be celebrated by everyone on the Lord’s day in his own time.

Since the report appears to depend on the notice of the Liber Pontificalis, it certainly does not represent an early testimony and can probably be entirely set aside as derivative. Indeed, the whole letter appears to substantiate the motive implicit in the Liber Pontificalis of promoting Pius as a decisive actor in disputes over the Easter date.289

287  PL 5:1125 preserves three pieces of this correspondence, all spurious. Cf. JK 7–8. See J. L. von Mosheim, Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, 3 vols. (New Haven: Maltby, 1832), 1:116 n. 19. 288  Paul Hinschius, ed., Decretales Pseudo-Isidorianae et Capitula Angilramni (Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1863), 116. The Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals (or False Decretals) are a set of ninthcentury forgeries. The author or group of authors is known as Pseudo-Isidore. “Isidore Mercator” is almost certainly a pseudonym created ca. 825–850 ce by conflating the names of Isidore of Seville and Marius Mercator, both well-respected church authorities (link below, n. 2). During the early 830s, many bishops, defending Louis I the Pious against his sons, were exiled. Arguing the unfairness of their punishment, they added forged material to an existing collection of approximately 100 forged papal letters. Most were allegedly written by Roman bishops of the first three centuries. Assorted passages from patristic, biblical, and legal texts were used to compose the fakes. I am reliant on the work of Eric Knibbs for information on PseudoIsidore. See, for example,, consulted July 6, 2019. The letter is reproduced from a thirteenth-century manuscript in PL 130:111–114, with the relevant passage at 111C. Knibbs is preparing a new edition of the False Decretals and has conveniently supplied his working transcription for this letter at: 289  I wish to express gratitude to Jeremy Thompson for assistance in bringing this section up to date.


Chapter Six: Commentary

Letter to Justus of Vienne A second spurious letter ascribed to Pius may be mentioned in passing because Tregelles also quotes from it.290 It is one of a pair of letters addressing Bishop Justus of Vienne, who probably lived in the fourth century. Tregelles observes the chronological discrepancy, but cites the letter for an allusion to the founding of a church by a presbyter named Pastor – presumably reflective of the connection between Pius and one Pastor, although the forged letter does not name Pastor as brother of Pius.291 The bizarre forgery pairing a second-century author and a fourth-century addressee must depend on a tradition, attested by the 860s, which erroneously placed Bishop Justus in the second century.292 The letter is not, however, connected to the False Decretals, but rather first appears in a collection of forgeries connected to the bishopric of Vienne.293 It was perhaps penned only in the eleventh century. With regard to the tradition behind these spurious letters, the authority of the episcopate in Rome is construed as first collected and contested under Pius in the eighth century. A later church traces its roots back to Pius as first head of the church worldwide and critical in her initial battles against heresy. The reasons are clear: both Valentinus and Cerdo came to Rome under Hyginus and taught while Pius ruled.294 Marcion arrived in Rome after the death of Hyginus and before the ascension of Pius to the episcopal seat.295 Some speculate that Marcion vied with Pius for the episcopate of Rome.296 Among the ninth-century Pseudo-Isidoriana, more than one hundred false letters attest the symbolic value of the early episcopate.297 As ninth in succession from St. Peter, Pius was viewed as the early pope par excellence.298 The Muratorian Fragment’s appeal to Pius may reflect a desire  Canon Muratorianus, 61.  W. Gundlach, ed., Epistolae Viennenses spuriae, MGH, Epp. 3 (Berlin: Weidmann, 1892), 87, l. 20: Pastor presbyter titulum condidit. Gundlach dates the Vienne letters slightly later than Duchesne (ca. 1060) from the early twelfth century. 292  Gérard Lucas, Vienne dans les textes grecs et latins. Chroniques littéraires sur l’histoire de la cité, des Allobroges à la fin du Ve siècle de notre ère (Lyon: Maison de l’Orient Méditerranee, 2016), 253–70. 293  Louis Duchesne, Fastes épiscopaux de l’Ancienne Gaule, 3 vols., 2nd ed. (Paris: Albert Fontemoing, 1907–15), 1:152, 162–166. 294  Irenaeus, Haer. 1.27, 2.3; cf. Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 4.11. 295 Epiphanius, Pan. 42.1; cf. Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 4.11. 296  Epiphanius, Pan. 42.1.7. The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, trans. Frank Williams, 2 vols., 2nd rev. ed, NHMS 63, 79 (Leiden: Brill, 2013; 12009), 295. 297 Eric Knibbs; see, consulted online on October 7, 2020. Knibbs is working on a new edition of the False Decretals: “In every way the antecedent to my efforts here is the old edition-in-progress of the False Decretals, now discontinued, by Karl-Georg Schon ( Please note that the text provided by Schon is not an edition, but a raw collation of some of the oldest and most important manuscript sources.” 298 A. Lipsius refers to him as “Bischof im engeren Sinn” (Chronologie der römischen Bischofe [Kiel: Schwers, 1869], 263, 170). 290 291

B. Commentary


to trace some notion of early medieval canon standards to a much earlier phase of church history. As such, it would supplement the rapidly developing legacy of a centralized Roman papacy effective against opposition with the first formulation and institution of canon.299

Fraternity Legend and the Shepherd of Hermas With its late date, an even more substantial problem with the Fraternity Legend vis-à-vis the Shepherd is its contextual integrity. At least five issues can be raised. First, the Shepherd identifies its author as Hermas. Osiek characterizes him as a “non-elite Greek-speaker” of “limited literary education.”300 According to Osiek, “Hermas belongs to ‘the common people’ of the city.”301 By “non-elite” Osiek does not imply that Hermas was penniless,302 only that he is unlikely to have been a part of the family of Pius, the early bishop of Rome.303 Herm. Vis. 1.1 implies that its author is a slave or orphan and, although the writer mentions leaders of the church in Rome several times, there is no mention of Pius and no sense of a singular leader or monarchical episcopacy.304 Second, the episcopate of Pius is probably too late for the composition of the Shepherd.305 Pius lived in the middle of the second century, whereas Osiek and others date the Shepherd to its beginning (under Trajan ca. 100 ce).306 299  Armstrong believes that the Fragment may have preceded a commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (particularly as an imitation of the prologue to Origen’s Commentary on Matthew) (“Victorinus of Pettau,” 31). Armstrong’s interesting observation has a possible bearing on genre. See discussion in Chapter 1. 300 Shepherd of Hermas, 21. 301 Shepherd of Hermas, 21. 302 Shepherd of Hermas, 21. 303  Shepherd of Hermas, 21. Cf. Osiek’s description: “The portrayal of the central character Hermas is of a moderately wealthy freedman and householder with wife and probably grown children, whose family are causing him some kind of trouble by their behavior. He may be Jew or Gentile, and is influenced by literary and theological motifs from both traditions, which is not anomalous from second-century Roman Christianity” (Shepherd of Hermas, 23). Cf. Verheyden: “Yet it is obvious that the Fragmentist pretends to know certain traditions about Pope Pius and likes to use this kind of information to situate (or maybe, lend authority to?) his work” (“Canon Muratori,” 492). 304  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 38–39. 305  Bruce Metzger reports that PIand I 4, a Greek fragment preserving Herm. Mand., dates to the early second century (Canon of the New Testament, 63 n. 36; Antonio Carlini, “Testimone e testo: Il problema della datazione di PIand I 4 del Pastore di Erma,” SCO 42 [1992]: 17–30, here: 22). 306 Osiek dates the Shepherd sometime between the end of the first and the middle of the second century (Shepherd of Hermas, 20); see Chapter 2. Interpreters of the Fragment often operate on the assumption, traced to Hippolytus, that the Shepherd was too late to be included in the canon. See Harnack, Geschichte der altchristliche Literatur, 52; Streeter, Primitive Church, 207. Streeter rails against reliance on the Fragment for its dating of the Shepherd: “Yet scholars


Chapter Six: Commentary

Third, while it is possible (even likely) that Pius (Latin name) had a brother, that his brother’s name was Hermas (Greek name) is not likely. The Fraternity Legend may derive from the mistaken identification of a true brother of Pius called Pastor (Latin: “shepherd”) with the author of the Shepherd (i. e., Hermas), somewhat like claiming that Emily Brontë was Jane Eyre’s sister.307 It is unlikely that the Fragment’s version of the legend predates other occurrences by a few centuries. However, the possibility that the anonymous Fragmentist living at the time of Pius mistakenly associates (as brother) the current bishop of Rome with the author of the Shepherd, attributing to him a much older work, is even less likely. Such a tradition could not have circulated in the second century because it would have been too close to the events to be considered plausible. In her discussion of early testimonies to the Shepherd, Osiek comments on this problem: “the [Muratorian] Canon’s reference to Hermas may be the device of a later document to make it seem earlier.”308 While it is possible that the Shepherd’s story about its own authorship is fabricated, it is more likely that fourth-century witnesses to the Fraternity Legend are in error. Fourth, qualification of the Shepherd’s public reading within the Fragment – “either among the prophets … or among the apostles” (ll. 78–80) – appears to be based on its purported date of composition (i. e., time of Pius). Hahneman points out that the link between Hermas and Pius may take aim at Hermas’s apostolicity based on Rom 16:14, ἀσπάσασθε Ἀσύγκριτον, Φλέγοντα, Ἑρμῆν, Πατροβᾶν, Ἑρμᾶν καὶ τοὺς σὺν αὐτοῖς ἀδελφούς. Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome acknowledge this tradition309 without mentioning that Hermas and Pius are brothers (suggesting it is a very restricted or local tradition).310 Since Romans

of the sharpest critical acumen have allowed themselves to be terrorised, so to speak, into the acceptance of a date which brings to confusion the history of the Church in Rome, on the evidence of an authority no better than the Muratorianum. If we scrutinise other statements characteristic of this document, it is at once clear that few, if any, of them rest on sound tradition” (Streeter, Primitive Church, 205). He interprets the Fragment as anti-Montanist, dated to the time of Hippolytus, if not written by him (205; “the synod or Pope responsible for the Muratorianum,” 209) and, therefore, rejects the Shepherd (claiming like the Montanists to offer new prophecy) “the author of the Muratorianum has ‘an axe to grind’; he wishes to undercut the position of the Montanists, whose books he later on expressly condemns” (206); and, “Origen attributed the Shepherd to the apostolic Hermas, because he valued it as inspired; the author of the Muratorianum attributes it to the brother of Pius, because he wished to reject that view. Neither statement is that of a dispassionate historical investigator” (208); “To accept the Muratorian date for Hermas is to make nonsense of the documentary evidence and, as will appear shortly, of the early history of the Roman Church” (212). 307  Hahneman notes that whereas Pius was bishop of Rome, Hermas was, at least on his own account, a slave (Muratorian Fragment, 52). 308  Shepherd of Hermas, 18. 309  Origen, Comm. Rom. 10.31, a section known only from the Latin translation of Rufinus. Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 3.3.6) and Jerome (Vir. ill. 10) repeat the tradition. 310 Contra Armstrong (“Victorinus of Pettau”), Hahneman notes that this is “surprising if

B. Commentary


15–16 are absent from NT manuscript witnesses until the third century,311 and these chapters are also not cited until this time, claims (and thus objections) to Hermas’s apostolicity probably postdate the third century.312 Hahneman concludes: It might be argued that it was only in the East and shortly before the time of Origen that an identification of the Hermas mentioned in Romans with the Hermas of the Shepherd could have been made, and the need to dispel this Eastern tradition of apostolicity in the Fragment could not have occurred earlier.313

C. H. Turner, however, interprets the MF’s reference to excluding the Shepherd in both the corpus of the prophets and the corpus of the apostles as evidence of a desire to include it. With regard to ll. 77–80, Turner writes: “Clearly there is evidence of a tendency to find place for the Shepherd in the Canon, in whatever position it might be easiest to foist it, whether in the Old or in the New Testament.”314 The MF may exemplify “special pleading” for a text that is obviously significant, but canon standards had begun to exclude. Fifth, as discussed above, William Horbury persuasively argues that scholars misread the Fragment’s rejection of Wisdom.315 Based on the model of Origen, Eusebius, and others, Horbury argues that the Fragment most likely receives Wisdom as first in a list of antilegomena from both testaments.316 Revelation, the Apocalypse of Peter, and the Shepherd of Hermas extend this category of antilegomena  – texts which, while some aspects and applications may be dis-

Jerome was well versed in the writings of Victorinus, and Victorinus was the author of the Carmen” (“Victorinus,” 7). 311 See Harry Y. Gamble, The Textual History of the Letter to the Romans: A Study in Textual and Literary Criticism, Studies and Documents 42 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1977); T. W. Manson, “St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans and Others,” BJRL 31 (1948): 224–40; J. Knox, “A Note on the Text of Romans,” NTS 2 (1955–56): 191–93. The earliest witness to Romans 15–16 is 𝔓118, a manuscript containing Rom 15:26–27, 32–33; 16:1, 4–7, 11–12. G. Schenke, “406. Epistula Pauli ad Romanos 15, 26–27.32–33; 16, 1.4–7.11,” in Kölner Papyri (P. Köln) VII/10, ed. M. Gronewald, et al. (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2012), 33–37. 312  Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Cyprian do not cite Romans 15–16. Manson suggests that Romans 16 was added in Alexandria (i. e., 𝔓46) (“St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans and Others,” 235–36). Clement of Alexandria is first to refer to it (Paed. 1.6; cf. 3.12). Hahneman points out that the Fragmentist demonstrates knowledge of Romans 15 again in l. 39, “when he employed the uncommon Latin form spania for Spain (l. 39), instead of the familiar Hispania or Iberia. Σπανία is found in the Greek originals (Rom. 15:24, 28 and was probably simply transliterated in the Latin translation” (“Victorinus,” 8 n. 14). 313  Hahneman, “Victorinus,” 8. 314  “Is Hermas Also Among the Prophets?” JTS 14 (1913): 404–7, here, 406. 315  “Wisdom of Solomon in the Muratorian Fragment,” 155. Hahneman reads Wisdom (Muratorian Fragment, 200–5) as included, but the Shepherd as excluded from the canon (50–51). 316  Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 6.25) uses three categories for orthodox books: (1)  accepted or recognized (homologoumena); (2) disputed (antilegomena); and (3) spurious (notha).


Chapter Six: Commentary

puted, qualify as scripture nonetheless.317 The aphorism in ll. 67–68 concerning honey and gall may express the guiding metaphor for the entire text. As the paraphrase of a line from the Shepherd it further suggests the acceptability of this apocalypse. If the Fragment receives the Shepherd  – advising only that it not be published within the closed canons of prophets and apostles318 – then the Fraternity Legend poses a serious logical challenge: an (absurdly) late composition date for the Shepherd contradicts the Fragment’s intention to receive the text.319 Why characterize composition after the close of the apostolic period if the intention is to receive the text, especially when its actual date is half a century earlier? Something else about the Fraternity Legend must have attracted the Fragmentist’s interest, perhaps a local tradition or the sources he used. In short, Horbury’s argument adds a layer of internal contradiction to the problems posed by the Fraternity Legend.320 317  The category of antilegomena is not explicit in the Fragment. According to Els Rose, “It is very likely that a large part of the Latin texts (rewritings of the ancient Acts or newly composed texts) was produced with a clear purpose: for use in the practice of public worship” (Ritual Memory, 38). In an article on Stephen as first martyr, François Bovon argues for an intermediate position of extra-biblical texts about the apostles and other venerated figures (“Beyond the Book of Acts,” 93). 318 Pascale Bourgain explains a later legal and slightly pejorative use of the verb publicare, “Edere in publicum est le terme le plus précis et neutre à la fois: diffuser, donner au public, publier. Alors que publicacio, publicare sont pratiquement impossibles en ce sens, étant réservés à un domaine plus juridique (mettre au ban, prononcer la condamnation, dénoncer publiquement, annoncer un mariage) ou plus concret (publicacio, concours de peuple, ou pillage). Dans le registre de la diffusion, l’emploi de publicare est limité aux lettres officielles et aux actes des souverains: de cet emploi, et des autres sens fâcheux du mot dans le domaine juridique, il conserve semble-t-il une nuance péjorative: on craint qu’un écrit ne soit ‘rendu public’ lorsqu’il peut être compromettant (ainsi Fulbert de Chartres en 1028, à la fin d’une lettre où il exhorte son correspondant à résister au roi s’il n’observe pas les lois canoniques: oramus hec scripta nostra minime publicari, que apud tui cari pectoris secretum promere audemus: nous prions que ne soit pas rendu public cet écrit …” (“La naissance officielle de l’œuvre,” 201). 319  Ferguson writes, “Although the author of the Canon does not make the charge of heresy, his terminology is parallel to the point Tertullian (and others) repeatedly made that lateness was sufficient basis for rejecting a teaching which purported to be apostolic but was not” (“Canon Muratori,” 678). Zahn acknowledges the emphatic quality of nuperrime as emphasizing the newness of the Shepherd: “Da der Verfasser das Interesse hat, den Hirten als eine sehr junge Schrift darzustellen, wird er einen möglichst starken Ausdruck gewählt haben” (Geschichte, 2:134). Roukema, “La Tradition apostolique et le canon du Nouveau Testament,” 97. 320  The purpose of situating the Fragment in the second century was venerability and authority. Hill alludes to this solution when, apropos of Hahneman, he observes: “And it is hard to imagine why a fourth-century author would deliberately adopt a fictitious, second-century persona just for the purpose of debunking the Shepherd” (review of Muratorian Fragment, by Hahneman, 439). To this discussion, Verheyden adds that nuperrime may be deliberately ambiguous: “Apparently the author was not concerned with being very precise. … Such indefinite indications are particularly amenable to hyperbolic use” (“Canon Muratori,” 504). Ambiguity is a hallmark trait of forgery, particularly in passages where a forged text alludes to its own authorship, date, and provenance. Both Ferguson and Hill pick up on the implication

B. Commentary


Finally, with respect to the phrase nuperrime temporibus nostris in urbe Roma (ll. 74–75), in a short article discussing Harnack’s argument that the Muratorian Fragment was written in Rome, drawing a comparison with Ambrosiaster’s Quaestiones, Hugo Koch observes that when Ambrosiaster is in Rome the first reference to the city includes hic: hic in urbe Roma, while subsequent references have only hic. Koch argues that if the Fragmentist was in Rome he would have written hic in urbe Roma, particularly since he has just indicated temporal proximity with nuperrime temporibus nostris.321 Temporibus nostris, however, may be an expanded equivalent of hic, as in “our circumstances” (i. e., the city of Rome).322 and criticize Hahneman for failing to address it. Ferguson writes: “The second chapter [of Hahneman’s book] gets into the heart of the argument by dealing with the statements about Hermas’ Shepherd. Hahneman’s contention is that all the information about Hermas is mistaken or garbled. The net result would be that a fourth-century author has posed as a near contemporary in order to discredit the Shepherd. Yet this is the only place that implied pseudonymity occurs. Since the author approves of the private use of the Shepherd, the issue does not seem so crucial as to justify a pseudonymous posture here but nowhere else. The pseudonymity would seem to be of doubtful value in a polemic against the Shepherd in the fourth century. Hahneman does not deal with the difficulty of accounting for the posture of pseudonymity” (Ferguson, review of Muratorian Fragment, by Hahneman, 691–92). Later, Ferguson also explains how the Pius-Hermas legend complicates the implied pseudonymity. Merely redating the Fragment to the fourth century does not solve all difficulties of the text. Similar to an epistolary conclusion, the end of the Fragment is the obvious place to slip in an argument for one’s own credibility. 321  Koch writes, “Für römischen Ursprung des Fragments wird gern auch der Satz angeführt: ‘Pastorem vero nuperrime temporibus nostris in urbe Roma Hermas conscripsit sedente cathedra urbis Romae ecclesiae Pio episcopo fratre eius’ (Z. 73 ff.) In der Tat scheint die Mitteilung, daß Hermas der Bruder des römischen Bischofs Pius gewesen sei, für Entstehung in Rom zu sprechen. Aber ebenso sehr scheint die kühl sachliche und umständliche Ortsangabe ‘in urbe Roma,’ ‘in cathedra urbis Romae ecclesiae’ von Rom wegzuweisen. Was ich meine, zeigt beispielsweise ein Vergleich mit Quaestio 115 aus den Qu. Vet. et Novi Test., wo es in c 16 (ed. Souter CSEL 50, 323, 12) heißt: ‘hic in urbe Roma,’ in c 17–19: hic … hic … hic. Freilich ist auch in dieser Quaestio in c. 19 (32424), c. 63 (3402) und c. 72 (343, 17) nur von der ‘urbs Roma’ die Rede, aber doch erst, nachdem vorher durch das wiederholte ‘hic’ die persönliche Beziehung schon kenntlich gemacht war. So sollte man auch beim Fragmentisten meinen, daß er unwillkürlich ‘Pastorem hic in urbe Roma Hermas conscripsit’ geschrieben hätte, wenn das Schriftstück zu Rom verfaßt worden wäre – da er mit ‘temporibus nostris,’ die zeitliche Beziehung angezeigt hatte, lag die Angabe der räumlichen ebenso nahe – und daß er sich auch nicht so breit und umständlich ausgedrückt hätte, wie es mit ‘sedente etc’ der Fall ist. Natürlich ist das kein ausschlaggebender Grund gegen den römischen Ursprung, aber es ist doch geeignet, Bedenken zu wecken” (“Zu A. von Harnacks Beweis für den amtlichen römischen Ursprung des Muratorischen Fragments,” ZNW 25 [1926]: 154–60, here: 159–60). 322  Cf. Lewis and Short, s. v. tempus I.2.a; cf. Cicero, scripsi versibus tres libros de temporibus meis (Fam. 2.18) etc. but the comparison is difficult because it is not used in an adverbial sense (hic) but as a noun, “I wrote about my experiences/my lifetime.” According to Andrew Cain, Jerome uses nostris temporibus or nostro tempore for “people whose lifespans intersected, however tangentially, with his own” (“An Unidentified Patristic Quotation in Jerome’s Commentary on Galatians (3.6.11),” JTS 61 [2010]: 216–25, here: 221). If temporibus nostris meant hic in the Fragment, then perhaps the lost beginning clarified what that means – the location in question or a pseudonym that would make sense of it.


Chapter Six: Commentary

Excursus: We-Passages of the Muratorian Fragment Use of the first-person plural in ll. 72–73 poses a widely recognized conundrum of the Muratorian Fragment. The problem might be solved if the beginning of the text (i. e., before Gospel of Luke) was not missing – that is, if, in the opening sentences of what is now a fragment, the author had revealed his identity or context or lent credence to a pseudonym. Barring a new discovery, we are left to interpret the passage without this context. One unexplored aspect of the text is the five instances of the first-person plural – the Fragment’s “we-passages.” The following evaluation seeks to fill this deficiency. (1) The first occurrence of the first-person plural in the Fragment (l. 47) ultimately coincides with its first discussion of rejected texts (Laodiceans, Alexandrians). Up until this point the Fragment describes NT authors (i. e., Luke, John, Paul) and their texts using the third person. Each perceived discrepancy among texts is qualified as irrelevant (e. g., ll. 16– 20). The first “we-passage” (l. 47) fits this pattern of dismissing discrepancies, but for the first time introduces the author’s authority into the argument: de quibus singulis necesse est a nobis disputari) (“we do not need to discuss the singula”). If singula refers to the upcoming discussion of the individual Pauline letters, the author probably argues that discussion is unnecessary because the sum total of the letters is seven like those of Paul’s predecessor John, signaling perfection and completion. If, alternatively, singula refers to the previous thumbnail sketches of Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans (ll. 42–46), the writer may rather argue that further discussion is unnecessary because the total number of letters (7) guarantees soundness, reliability, applicability, etc. A nobis either refers to the author alone (nosism perhaps by bishop or other leader) or includes the audience. The author might imply that an unspecified faction outside of the author’s community differently enumerates Paul’s letters, differently interprets their content, and/or does not acknowledge a symbolic correspondence between the letters of Paul and John. Whichever of the various options is true, the author’s seven-letter collection excludes Laodiceans and Alexandrians (l. 64), a possible clue to the purportedly unnecessary discussion. (2)  Line 72 commences a string of four first-person occurrences in the last thirteen lines of the text. Three coincide with the verb recipio, appearing in ll. 66–67 in a thirdperson usage. The first example reads: “We also still receive (recipimus) the apocalypses of John and Peter.” (3) As with the letters, the first-person plural surfaces a second time in the same passage beginning at l. 72 to limit the use of received texts, in this case, apocalypses: quidam ex nostris legi in ecclesia nolunt (“some of us do not want [them] to be read in church,” ll. 72– 73). In contrast to a nobis in l. 46 which asserts a single view (discussion is unnecessary), ex nostris in l. 72 acknowledges a difference of opinion, albeit one jeopardizing only public reading (i. e., not reception). That said, it is unclear whether the two passages refer to the same community. Line 46 could reflect the author’s local congregation, and l. 72, the world-wide (“catholic”) church (l. 66). It is also possible that the author is making a universal claim for his local tradition. (4) In l. 82 (nihil in totum recipimus), where the author might be expected to reject heretical texts on behalf of the universal church (cf. ll. 61–62, 66, 69), the first-person is again employed. In contrast to the openness to divergent views of the previous occurrence (ll. 72–73), l. 65 rejects in totum (“in entirety”) all writings by certain authors. (5) Turning to l. 74, nuperrime temporibus nostris, in light of this evidence, we observe that this phrase establishes the setting for the composition of the Shepherd of Hermas. Whereas other occurrences of the first person are synchronic, both the second-century lit-

B. Commentary


eral reading and Sundberg’s fourth-century periodic reading interpret temporibus nostris in l. 74 as setting up a diachronic development. The first person locates the author and his congregation on a timeline after John, Paul, and Luke, but alongside Hermas, either literally in the second century or periodically (any time in the second century or later). The Fragmentist accepts different kinds of witnesses as criteria for reception – often but not always eyewitness verification. Other uses of conscripsit, which do not receive the temporal qualification of l. 75, point to an event in the more distant past, but there is no systematic distinction between two periods. Applying the first-person plural to the Pauline letters and three apocalypses may suggest that this part of the canon was regarded as more unstable at the time of Pius, but the Fragment’s we-passages do not reflect systematic criteria for inclusion or exclusion. They seem rather like a reflection of the Fragmentist’s sources and the milieu(x) in which the Fragment originated or is made to seem as having originated. It is, however, also possible to translate temporibus nostris as “our circumstances,” that is, “our circumstances in the city of Rome.” In the γ-recension to Romans, Ambrosiaster defines tempora as “circumstances” in his discussion of a variant to Rom 12:11 (2). The sense of the word is tripartite encompassing place, people, and time: tempori servientes, ut modeste et cum honestate aptis et locis et personis et apto tempore religionis fidem loquerentur (“Subject to time, so that they would speak about the faith of the religion with dignity and credibility, when the place and the people and the time are right”).323 The Fragment’s l. 74 may be interpreted as stating as much: temporibus nostris in urbe Roma, the prepositional phrase in urbe Roma understood epexegetically. Another option is that the phrase temporibus … Roma is like saying “when we were in Rome for a time,” (i. e., but now no longer are). This reading does not avoid the problematically late date of the Shepherd traceable to the Fraternity Legend (assuming the Fragmentist dates Pius to the middle of the second century), but it does avoid situating the Fragmentist at that time. It merely situates the Fragmentist in Rome, rightly or wrongly an assumption of scholarship since Muratori. With all other uses in the Fragment, this interpretation of temporibus nostris understands the first-person reference (nostris) synchronically. In keeping with the emphasis on eyewitness authority, the Fragmentist, like Origen, probably regards Hermas as Paul’s friend (Rom 16:14).324 The author’s point would thus be that the Shepherd can be read because, after all, this is Rome where it was written (or because, after all, it was written in Rome). The Shepherd cannot however be “read publicly” (or possibly “published”) for the church since the prophets and apostles are complete. This position is nearly identical to that of Rufinus of Aquileia (344/5–411 ce writing in or near Rome), who lists the Shepherd as a book of the church but not a canonical book, specifying that it is to be read but not used for theological discussion.325

323 De Bruyn, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, 225. Cf. Augustine, Cresc. 3.25.28: quae de Maximianensibus gesta sunt et in Africa et temporibus nostris (M. Petschenig, ed., Opera. Scripta contra Donatistas, by Augustine of Hippo, CSEL 52 [Vienna: Tempsky, 1909], 434). 324 See Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.3.6; Jerome, Vir. ill. 10 (apud quasdam Graeciae ecclesias etiam publice legitur); Athanasius, Inc. 3.1. 325  In Novo vero Testamento libellus qui dicitur Pastoris sive Hermas, qui appellatur Duae viae vel Judicium Petri. Quae omnia legi quidem in ecclesiis voluerunt, non tamen proferri ad auctoritatem ex his fidei confirmandam (Symb. 36)


Chapter Six: Commentary

In this case, nuperrime would be the sole temporal reference, and the superlative would indicate that the Shepherd was written “last sequentially” (i. e., of the three apocalypses).326 The argument of Sundberg (and his critics) would be moot, as the anonymous writer is not pretending to situate himself in the second century but circumscribing his activity in Rome. The date for the Shepherd (at the time of Pius), however, would still be too late. In conclusion, a temporal interpretation of temporibus nostris in l.  74 anomalously backs a diachronic reading of the first-person reference, clear in a literal reading and not alleviated by Sundberg’s periodic interpretation. A periodic sense of nos appears, for instance, in Ambrose and Gregory the Great who frequently contrast “us Christians” with extra-Christian thinkers. In this sense it is also common in the Middle Ages. Sundberg supplies only one parallel implying apostolic versus post-apostolic periodization: a disappointing tally. Nothing in the Fragment sets up the contrast. The periodic reading applies to no other use of the first-person plural in the Fragment. This does not categorically exclude the periodic reading of the phrase temporibus nostris, but it does make it less plausible. A circumstantial or local interpretation, in contrast, would understand the first-person reference synchronically like all other first-person references. It also diminishes support for dating the Fragment in the second century and may dissolve evidence backing the claim that the text was an originally pseudonymous, perhaps even a deliberately acephalous anonymous, document. What remains clear is that the Shepherd of Hermas was an open enough tradition for the author to insert himself.

Concluding the discussion of canonical texts, the Fragmentist claims that the “prophets” (usually understood as the Jewish scriptures) are “complete in number” and the “apostles” (usually understood as the New Testament) are “limited to a [fixed] period of time” (ll. 78–80).327 The interest in completion 326  Nuperrime may refer to the last word in a sequence, but, if so, it is odd that the Fragmentist did not select the more common novissime to convey this meaning. Cf. Ambrosiaster, Quaest. 120: (“On Fasting”) ut opus fidei pro temporis observatione omni cura diligentiaque alacri et devoto animo faciamus (ed. Souter, 361); Ambrosiaster, Comm. in 2 Thess., Comm. in 1 Tim., Comm. in 2 Tim. (ed. Vogels, 3:240 [2 Thess 2:7], 241 [2 Thess 2:8], 271 [1 Tim 4:1], 311 [2 Tim 3:1]). Still, the semantics of the more common word may illuminate the meaning of nuperrime. Jerome (Vir. ill. 9) describes John the Evangelist as follows: novissimus omnium scripsit Evangelium. The sequence is historical as well as literary: John wrote chronologically later than the other evangelists, and he is the last that Jerome names in his sequence. But the superlative does not mean that John wrote “very recently.” None of the authors wrote recently (noviter). 327 Cf. 2 Pet 3:2. In his discussion of the evolution of the expression beginning with Paul (1 Thess 2:13–15), Farkasfalvy characterizes the MF as the “earliest known description of the Canon of the New Testament” (“‘Prophets and Apostles,’” 109). The MF’s enigmatic reference to the prophets and apostles in ll. 79–80 may suggest a parallel between the Jewish prophets and the NT letters – perhaps as a basis for its correspondence between John’s and Paul’s seven letters to churches. Gilbert of Poitiers observes this parallel in the prologue to his commentary on Paul’s letters. Karlfried Froehlich comments on Gilbert’s prologue: “The brief prologue [preceding the commentary on Romans], ‘Sicut prophetae post legem’ is a free composition on the basis of the Pelagian materials. Surprisingly, it does not employ the new format of the accessus ad auctorem which was beginning to be applied to biblical writings as it had been to works of secular authors” (“Paul and the Late Middle Ages,” in A Companion to Paul in the Reformation, ed. R. Ward Holder, Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition 15 [Leiden: Brill, 2009], 15–40, here: 25). Gilbert’s work was never published due to charges of heresy by Bernard of

B. Commentary


in these lines recalls the themes of unity, perfection, universality, and e pluribus unum in prior lines, such as those treating the number seven (ll. 49, 57–58). This not only unifies the the Pauline with the Johannine (Rev 2–3) corpus but comports well with the Fragment’s unbalanced preoccupation with Johannine literature (seven occurs in both the Fourth Gospel, e. g., seven σημεῖα, ἐγώ εἰμι statements and Revelation, e. g., lampstands, churches, angels, seals, trumpets, heads of the dragon, etc.) and the other two apocalypses (the number seven occurs in Hermas, e. g., “seven women around the tower,” Vis. 3 [8.16.2]; cf. Par. 9 [1.78.8], [24.101.1] and Apoc. Pet. [Ethiopic] “shining seven times more than the sun”).328

Catalogue of Heretical Texts Although much of the Fragment’s content is difficult to date, a few datable references occur immediately after the Pius-Hermas legend. Scholars refer to this section as a “catalogue of heresies” but in fact  – consistent with the emphasis throughout the Fragment  – it is a catalogue of heretical books.329 EmClairvaux but Maurice Simon prints and discusses the text of the prologue. In this short text, Gilbert observes a parallel between the Jewish prophetic books and the NT epistles: “Sicut Prophetae post Legem, sic et Apostoli post Euangelium recte scripserunt, ut, quemadmodum illi ad carnalia Legis, sic et isti ad Euangelii spiritualia praecepta et promissa et sacramenta uocantes, fidem sacramentum, spem promissorum et praeceptorum oboedientiam commendaret et de cetero contra rediuiua uitia uel haereses emersuras consulerent. Vnde et Apostolus, scribens Romanos, quibus quidam ex Iudaeis Christo credentes tradiderant ut Christum profitentes Legem seruarent, id omnino agit ut a Lege eos tollat et in sola fide Christi constituat, in qua tamen utrique inter se inuicem altercantes sese despiciebant et merita iactabant. Nam qui uenerant ex Iudaeis, propter patres, a quibus originem duxerant, et propter Legem, quam inter ceteras gentes soli acceperant, his qui uenerant ex Gentibus hactenus idolatriae deditis se praeferebant et obseruantia Legis se fidei gratiam meruisse dicebant. E contra Gentiles mortem Christi improperabant Iudaeis simulque protestabant se minime coluisse idola, si Legem et Prohetarum oracular habuissent. Humilians igitur utrosque, Apostolus genus humanum ab initio arguit, Gentiles a naturali ratione, Iudaeos a Lege ostendens exorbitasse” (“La Glose de l’Épître aux Romains de Gilbert de la Porré,” 55–56). According to Riccardo Saccenti, the Jewish prophetic texts “recall the precepts, the promises, and the sacraments concerning the fleshly things, while authors of the epistles enlight the precepts, promises, and sacraments concerning the spiritual realities” (“The Grace that Creates Nature, the Grace that Renews Nature: Gilbert of La Porrée and the Victorines on Natural Law,” Aisthesis. Pratiche, linguaggi e saperi dell’estetico 11 [2018]: 109–20, here: 111). 328  Adela Yarbro Collins, “Numerical Symbolism in Jewish and Early Chrisitan Apocalyptic Literature,” ANRW 2.21:1221–87. 329 Verbs portraying acts of reading and writing (compiling, setting down, forging, publishing) together with references to books, authors, and epistles dominate the text (ll. 1, 2, 6, 9, 16, 17, 28, 31, 33, 35, 39, 50, 58, 65, 68, 71, 73, 77–78, 83–84). Concerning the catalogue of heretical books in the final lines of the Fragment, the following older studies are still valuable: C. Leimbach, “Über den polemischen Schluss des Canon Muratorianus,” Zeitschrift für die gesammte lutherische Theologie und Kirche (1875): 461–70; H. Rönsch, “Über den Schluss des Muratorischen Bruchstücks,” ZKG (1877): 310–13.


Chapter Six: Commentary

phasis on the rejection of texts is clear: “We accept nothing in its entirety of Arsinous or Valentinus or Miltiades, who also wrote a new book of Psalms for Marcion, together with Basilides, the Asian, founder of the Cataphrygians.” Most scholars lament the hopeless corruption of this part of the Fragment. As written, “Arsinous” in l. 81 is an unknown figure. The name may be confused with an Egyptian or Greek city called Arsinoë.330 Harnack (after Simon de Magistris) accounted for the reference with the assumption that Valentinus was born in Arsinoë, as if to say, “We receive nothing in its entirety, however, of Valentinus of Arsinoë” (ll. 81–82).331 Hilgenfeld thought that “Arsenoi” should be “Marcionis,” (i. e., Marcion), although the scribe was capable of accurately recording Marcion in l. 65.332 “Mitiades” is a presumed reference to Mi-l-tiades, although the Benedictine Prologues do not support this reading (cf. BP l. 34, “Mitiades” [C], “Mitiadis” [C1], “Mi(ti)adis” [C2], and “Mitididis” [C3]).333 If Mitiades is the correct reading, then the Fragment may refer to an early leader of the Montanists.334 If the correct reading is Mi-l-tiades then the Fragment may refer to a known second-century Christian. This figure, however, famously opposed Valentinians at Smyrna in 165 ce.335 Such a reference would, therefore, not make sense in a list of heretics, particularly following a reference to Valentinus. The claim in ll. 82–84 about a new book of psalms for Marcion has only one known literary precedent in Maruthas, bishop of Maiperqaṭ (ca. 400).336 Furthermore, conscripserunt, the verb that appears to go with Miltiades (ll. 83–84), is plural. 330  According to Hahneman, “Credner believed ‘arsinoi’ was a corruption of Bardesanis. Bardesanes of Edessa (154–222 ce) did take part in writing a large collection of Syriac hymns, and from the fourth century Bardesanes is attacked along with Marcion and/or Valentinus by Eastern fathers, e. g. the author of De recta in Deum fide (300+); Ephraem Syrus in his mad­ rashes (c. 338–73); Theodoret of Cyrrhus in Eranistes (447)” (Muratorian Fragment, 29). 331 Die Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentums in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten, 2 vols. (11902; Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, 21906, 31915, 41924). The English translation is based on the second edition (1906): The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries, trans. James Moffatt (London: Williams and Norgate, 21908), 161. 332  Hilgenfeld, Historisch-kritische Einleitung in das Neue Testament, 97–98. 333  “Fragmentum Muratorianum. Iuxta Codices Casinenses,” 1.2:1–5. Cf. Harnack, “Excerpte aus dem Muratorischen Fragment (saec. xi et xii),” 132. See Appendix C. 334  For Miltiades as a Montanist, see Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 5.16.3. 335  This logic is possible, but not necessary: a “heretic” could have “opposed” Valentinians. Tertullian relied on the writings of Miltiades, a philosopher: “Nor shall we hear it said of us from any quarter that we have of our own mind fashioned our own materials, since these have been already produced, both in respect of the opinions and their refutations, in carefully written volumes, by so many eminently holy and excellent men . . . for instance, Justin, philosopher and martyr, Miltiades, the sophist of the churches, Irenaeus, that very exact inquirer into all doctrines; our own Proculus, the model of chaste old age and Christian eloquence. All these it would be my desire closely to follow in every work of faith, even as in this particular one” (Val. 5; ANF 3:505–6). 336  Presumably Marcioni (l.  83) is Marcion (cf. l.  65); cf. BP l.  35. Oscar Braun offers the following German translation from Syriac of Maruta’s De Sancta Nicaena Synodo, “Häresie der Marcioniten. Diese lehren [drei Götter, einen guten, gerechten und bösen. Auch [haben sie

B. Commentary


Finally, in line 84, Basilides, an early Christian teacher in Alexandria whose followers formed a so-called gnostic sect, is mistakenly said to be from Asia Minor rather than Alexandria and is mistakenly named as the founder of the “Cataphrygians” (ll. 84–85).337 Charles E. Hill argues that this expression is “an obvious transliteration of κατάφρυγας (or κατὰ Φρύγας), a nickname for the Montanists,”338 probably occurring in Greek339 in the third century.340 Ferguson thinks that a Latin translator interpolated the term,341 an argument necessary for Ferguson’s position that the Fragment is an early Western document based on a Greek original.342 Another text, Adversus omnes haereses, pseudonymously ascribed to Tertullian, employed the label Cataphrygians to describe the Montanists and has been invoked as an important comparandum for the Fragment. Armstrong sought to bolster his ascription of the Fragment to Victorinus of Pettau by also attributing the Adversus omnes haereses to him.343 Yet Hahneman points out that the Adv. om. haer. reads: qui dicuntur secundum Phrygas, whereas the Fragment uses the word, catafrycum (ll. 84–85 || BP ll. 36–37). Cyprian uses “Cataphrygians” (Ep. 75.7) as does the Acts of Achatius (4.8), but even the conjectured Greek original of the Adversus Haereses probably did not record κατὰ Φρύγας because, as Hahneman observes, “similar Greek phrases in the same paragraph are trans-

korrumpiert] die Schriften, hinzugefügt und weggelassen… Das Buch der πράξεις [haben sie] vollständig aus der Mitte [geräumt] und statt seiner [ein anderes eingeschoben], das sie summa [sākā] nennen, damit es sei gemäss [ihren Lehren]. Statt des Petrus haben sie sich gesetzt als [Haupt] der Apostel den Marcion [und statt der Psalmen haben sie sich gedichtet] Hymnen [madrāschē]. Die Auferstehung der Leiber lästern sie” (De Sancta Nicaena Synodo. Syrische Texte des Maruta von Maipherkat nach einer Handschrift der Propaganda zu Rom Übersetzte [Muenster: Heinrich Schöningh, 1898], 4.3:47). However, Robert Murray severely qualifies the reliability of this testimony: Symbols of Church and Kingdom: A Study in Early Syriac Tradition (London and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1975), 34 n. 2. 337  James A. Kelhoffer argues that confusion over the surviving witnesses to Basilides of Alexandria persist today: “Basilides’s Gospel and Exegetica (Treatises),” VC 59 (2005): 115–34. As Ferguson writes: “The name Cataphrygians for the Montanists is first attested in PseudoTertullian, Haer. 7” (“Canon Muratori,” 681). Cf. the unknown late second-, early third-century source cited by Epiphanius, Pan. 48.12.4 (Hill, review of Muratorian Fragment [by Hahneman], 442). 338  Hill, review of Muratorian Fragment (by Hahneman), 441. It may be that the reference to Phrygian Pepouza, where the Montanists had a center, is an ethnic slur designed to cast further suspicion on heretics as foreigners. I wish to express gratitude to James A. Kelhoffer for this suggestion. 339  Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. 16.8. 340  Review of Muratorian Fragment (by Hahneman), 441–42. See also Verheyden, “Canon Muratori,” 549–50. 341  Ferguson, “Canon Muratori,” 681; cf. Hill, review of Muratorian Fragment (by Hahneman), 442. 342  Ferguson, “Canon Muratori,” 681. 343  Armstrong, “Victorinus of Pettau,” 28.


Chapter Six: Commentary

literated into Latin (i. e., kata Proclum and kata Aeschinem), whereas Phrygians was not.”344 Hahneman summarizes what is at stake: If the Fragment was originally written in Greek, and catafrigum in the text was a simple transliteration as suggested was done elsewhere, and the Fragment was thought to be fourth century in origin, the Greek Κατάφρυγων in the archetype would be unremarkable, and certainly not tied to Victorinus.345

Although Tregelles and others explain many of the difficulties surrounding the catalogue of heretics as the result of textual corruption,346 the Benedictine prologues provide counterevidence.347 Table 4 below shows that the texts they transmit are virtually identical.348 Table 4. Parallel Heretical Catalogues Benedictine Prologues

Muratorian Fragment (without textual inter­ vention)

28 … fer 29 tur etiam ad Laudicenses, aliam ad Alexan30 drinos, Pauli nomine ficte, ad heresim Marcio31 nis, et alia plura quae in aecclesia catholica 32 recipi non oportet. fel enim cum melle miscui 33 non congruit,

63. … fertur etiam ad 64. laudecenses alia ad alexandrinos pauli no 65. mine fincte ad heresem marcionis et alia plu

Arsinofa autem seu Valentini, 34 vel Mitiadis, nihil in totum recipimus, qui etiam 35 novum psalmorum librum Marcionis conscrip36 serunt, una cum Basilide (sive) Asyano Catafri37 gum constitutorem,

81. arsinoi autem seu ualentini. uel mitiad2 82. nihil in totum recipemus. qui etiam nouū

66. ra quae in chatholicam eclesiam recepi non 67. potest fel enim cum melle misceri non con 68. cruit …

83. psalmorum librum marcioni conscripse 84. runt una cum basilide assianom catafry 85. cum constitutorem

To be sure, BP ll. 28–37 are slightly more coherent than their MF counterpart. In the context of the Fragment, ll. 63–68 appear to be an interpolation, interrupting the discussion of accepted letters to individuals (Philemon, Titus, 1, 2, Timothy) with two rejected, fictitious writings to churches (Laodiceans, Alexandrians). As in the BPs, MF ll. 63–68 fit more naturally between MF ll. 80 and 344  “Victorinus,” 12. William Tabbernee, Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism, VCSup (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 197. Contrast Verheyden “Canon Muratori,” 550. 345  “Victorinus,” 12. Hahneman argues similarly in Muratorian Fragment, 211–13. Hill debates the point posing a few other possibilities in his review of this book (review of Muratorian Fragment [by Hahneman], 441–42). 346  Canon Muratorianus, 65. 347  Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 9–10. 348  On oportet versus potest, see Chapter 4 above.

C. Conclusion


81. This heretics list looks less corrupt, anti-Montanist, or anti-Marcionite than like a stereotypical selection of four second-century heretics brought together to exude a disapproving aura for an audience either unaware or uninterested in the facts.349 Provided the Fragment originally began with brief expositions of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, the final list of four heretics (Arsinous, Valentinus, Miltiades, Basilides) balances the initial list of four evangelists. The symmetry could suggest that the Fragment ended here. This passage will be considered again, in light of additional external comparanda, in Chapter 7.

C. Conclusion The Muratorian Fragment is both literally and figuratively one of a kind. Although the BPs and Chromatius can be counted as corroborating texts, no ancient witness, Greek or Latin, acknowledges or convincingly cites it (i. e., unambiguously depends on it). At the same time, almost no aspect of the text is entirely novel. Hardly a phrase in the Fragment, when compared with extant parallel lists and traditions, does not show some level of external compatibility. In most cases, where a similar tradition exists, however – a legend about the authorship of the Fourth Gospel, for example, or a list of Paul’s letters – cautious comparative analysis suggests the Fragment modifies what went before, whether by amplification, abbreviation, paraphrase, or even reversal. The qualities of such comparisons are the most significant historical evidence for the interpretation of the extant text, and yet, in the last analysis, little cohesion emerges across the data. Many of the traditions in the Fragment do not appear until the fourth century, but could they have appeared earlier? Were these traditions all invented de novo in the fourth century? What can be concluded about a text that has effectively outsmarted the greatest minds ever to ply themselves to the study of church history?

349  In his review of Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, Robert M. Grant refers to the list as “a confused little catalogue of heresies” (639).

Chapter Seven

A Star Rising in the Darkness If it can be proved that it [the Fragment] was written before Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian, we have an author and, as it were, a voice from a period otherwise destitute of authorities, which therefore would be brightened by such a star as this rising in its darkness. The chain of testimony would by it be carried right up to the sub-apostolical fathers, and so to the very Apostles themselves.1

A. Results Since its discovery, scholarship on the Muratorian Fragment assumes its authenticity. Muratori published it to illustrate the poor state of Latin letters in the Middle Ages but could not have been shocked by the attention it immediately drew. The most difficult fact about this text remains that we have only one manuscript probably of the eighth century with no earlier reference to the text or definite prior quotation. With the exception of certain lines in the BPs and Chromatius, there are few relationships (e. g., textual variants), let alone patterns, among witnesses.2 While what we have appears to be a recension, even this classification is subjective. The Muratorian Codex, as the bearer of the textual tradition, may delimit efforts to understand the Fragment, but the codex’s uniqueness poses its own set of limitations. If the text was composed in earnest and if its internal dating to the time of Pius can be excluded, whether by Sundberg’s theory of a periodic dating or by another strategy, then the date of the composition is to my mind not earlier than the fourth century. This conclusion is based on its genre, Latinity, collection of 1  Anonymous, review of Das Muratorische Fragment (by Hesse) and General Survey of the History of the Canon (by Westcott), 438. 2 Concerning the different presentation of the Pauline corpus in the Muratorian Fragment, David Trobisch refers to the problem of a single witness, “Fragt man nach der Wahrscheinlichkeit der beiden Vermutungen, so meine ich, dass eine Interpretation, die ohne die Annahme einder einzigartigen, anderweitig nicht bezeugten Ausgabe auskommt, unbedingt der Vorzug zu geben ist” (Die Entstehung der Paulusbriefsammlung: Studien zu den Anfängen christlicher Publizistik [Freiburg: Universitätsverlag, 1989], 44). With regard to the rejection of Hebrews in the West (the question that incited the present study), we see now how truly fragile the claim is.


Chapter Seven: A Star Rising in the Darkness

traditions, relationship to the Vulgate, and known dates of the other works in the codex. Our copy finds its way to Italy through the Bobbio-Monte Cassino monastery connection, Brown ruling out the connection with Paul the Deacon’s travels in France. The author possessed a scholastic interest in numerological organization of canonical works as well as numerological verification of canonical reliability, but that is not to say that the text could not have been conceived prior to the Middle Ages. Line 74 of the Fragment dates the Shepherd and possibly the Fragmentist to the episcopate of Pius (ca. 140–160 ce).3 Such anonymous self-orientation toward the final lines of the text may represent a “chronological fiction,” that is, an attempt to locate the writing significantly earlier than its actual date of composition.4 When Quintilian treats ἦθος under ἐπίλογος, he remarks on the effectiveness of establishing the authorial persona at the end of a work.5 Unless someone wishes to argue that the Fragmentist is John Chrysostom,6 its position in a codex in which all works are attributed perhaps in the eighth century to Chrysostom (original cover) qualifies the Fragment as a kind of pseudepigraphon.7 Yet even without 3 Robert

M. Grant acknowledges this possibility in his review of Muratorian Fragment (by Hahneman), 639. 4  Irene Peirano, The Rhetoric of the Roman Fake: Latin Pseudepigrapha in Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 3. See n. 7 below. In the fourth century, Athanasius accuses heretics of pre-dating their writings to give them a veneer of antiquity. Apocrypha, he says, are the “invention of heretics, who write these books whenever they want and then generously add time to them, so that, by publishing them as if they were ancient, they might have a pretext for deceiving the simple folk” (Ep. fest. 39.21; ET: Brakke, “New Fragment of Athanasius’s Thirty-Ninth Festal Letter,” 61). 5 Inst. 6.2.8–9. Cf. recommended use of προσωποποιϊα in the ἐπίλογος. 6 Concerning the Synopsis Veteris et Novi Testamenti, published by Montfaucon (repr. PG 56:313–86) among works attributed to Chrysostom, see Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 450; Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 162–63. 7 The inscription of the codex assigns ownership to Columbanus (ca. 543–615) but attributes its contents to John Chrysostom: liber scti columbani de bobio  / Iohis grisostomi. As Muratori first wrote: Titulus praefixus omnia tribuit Johanni Chrysostomo, sed immerito (Antiquitates Italicae, 3:851). See Galen on the removal of an inscription to force anonymity on a text that was claiming Galen’s name pseudonymously (Lib. Prop., ed. Kühn, 19:8–9). Roughly half of the contents of the Codex Muratori represent one work of John Chrysostom. Works by Eucherius of Lyons are in second highest concentration. With the possible exception of the Fragment, all of the texts in the codex were composed in the fourth or fifth century. Hahneman makes this point and Robert M. Grant acknowledges it in his review of Muratorian Fragment (by Hahneman), 639. It would be useful to define the terms of the position. Irene Peirano distinguishes the fake from anonymous texts and pseudepigrapha in general: “I focus on a specific subcategory of Roman pseudepigrapha that I call ‘fakes’: texts which self-consciously purport either to be the work of the author to whom they are attributed or to be written at a different time from that in which they were composed. In these texts, pseudonymity is an integral part of the work, not an allographic phenomenon resulting for the intervention of later editors, scribes or compilers …. A second category of fakes … are texts in which the fabrication of prevalence focuses not on authorship but on chronological setting and ambiance. These chronological fictions as I call them, purport to be addressed to famous personalities of the Augustan period – respectively

A. Results


this false attribution, certain elements create the impression of a text that reenters discussion about canonicity at a point when just such a text was needed. Anthony Grafton explains: If any law holds for all forgery, it is quite simply that any forger, however deft, imprints the pattern and texture of his own period’s life, thought and language on the past he hopes to make seem real and vivid. But the very details he deploys, however deeply they impress his immediate public, will eventually make his trickery stand out in bold relief, when they are observed by later readers who will recognize the forger’s period superimposed on the forgery’s. Nothing becomes obsolete like a period vision of an older period.8

The Muratorian Fragment provides evidence for the passionately held theory that the NT canon was formulated in the middle of the second century. As such, many are unwilling to part with it.9 It is as if they are trapped in the ideological moment that brought the fake about. Harold Love explains: The first aid to spotting a fake is that it is usually a little too good to be true. What is provided has to be something so desirable to the victim, or the public, that normal skepticism is suspended: something either long desired or that provides support for a passionately held theory. Qui vult decipi decipiatur. It is for this reason that many shamelessly inept fakes have had long and successful lives. … When the ideological moment that brought forth the fake has passed it should be easier to see it as the product of contrivance.10

As the reviewer cited in the epigraph of this chapter observes by referring to it as “a star rising in the darkness,” the Muratorian Fragment taps into a desire held by Christians since the second century of establishing the antiquity of their canon and beliefs. Without ruling out a second or third century origin, the next and final section of the volume explores two plausible historical settings (taken

Livia and Maecenas – and to have been composed on a specific historical occasion that is in fact significantly earlier than their actual date of composition. In these cases, the presence of anachronisms of various kinds often reveals the poem to be a retrospective fiction. This precise definition of my field of enquiry is necessary since within the corpus of Roman pseudepigrapha, many texts commonly considered pseudepigraphic are pseudonymous or anonymous in nature but do not necessarily fabricate a false narrative about their authorship and chronology” (The Rhetoric of the Roman Fake: Latin Pseudepigrapha in Context [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012] 3–4). The Fragment is a fake because it is anonymous and invents a false narrative about its authorship and chronology (ll. 73–80). With gratitude to Adela Yarbro Collins for her assistance on this idea.  8 Grafton, Forgers and Critics, 67, emphasis added. On this point, Morton Smith comments: “The supposition of forgery must be justified by demonstration either that the style or content of the work contains elements not likely to have come from the alleged author, or that some known historical circumstances would have furnished a likely occasion for the forgery” (Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 1973], 89 n. 1).  9  Ironically (or not) the Fragmentist is not only aware of but expresses concern about NTrelated forgeries (ll. 64–65). Cf. 2 Thess 2:2. 10  Attributing Authorship: An Introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 184 (emphasis added).


Chapter Seven: A Star Rising in the Darkness

chronologically out of order) in which the Fragment might have emerged.11 First, the eighth century, a time when the church witnessed new popularity of appeals to early popes for the endorsement of a variety of messages and ideals. The Fragment’s clear preoccupation with numerology fits neatly in canon discussions of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the time during which the BPs were copied. The Muratorian Codex is dated to the eighth century or perhaps the end of the seventh. The placement of the Fragment in the codex allows that fols. 10r–v and 11r–v were originally blank, implying that the Fragment was absent from the exemplar codex (works of Eucherius and Chrysostom), filled in from a separate exemplar (works of Ambrose) – perhaps at the behest of the owner – as part of the production of Ambr. I 101 sup. Second, we will consider whether the Fragment could have been composed in the fourth century – a period in which the church demonstrated an interest in unification, emphasized heresiology, and utilized media in news ways to spread this message.

B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts Arithmology and the Medieval Church Medieval theology demonstrated a clear interest in interpreting spiritual significance in numbers.12 Among ways theologians express this interest is the symbolic meaning of the organization of Scripture. Cornelia Linde observes, Modern scholarship has devoted little attention to medieval debates over the Canon. Bruce Metzger concluded that the canon of the New Testament – his object of study – was only rarely the subject of discussion in the Latin West. But besides practical decisions, such as whether to include or exclude Baruch or the Epistle to the Laodiceans in the manuscripts of the Bible, medieval scholars throughout the centuries engaged with the structure and composition of Scripture on an abstract level.13 11 I offer two possible historical settings (others exist), concluding with what appears to be the stronger option. 12  The 1970s and early 80s was a prolific period in Germany for the study of medieval number symbolism. See Heinz Meyer and Rudolf Suntrup, Lexikon der mittelalterlichen Zahlenbedeutungen, Münstersche Mittelalter-Schriften 56 (Munich: Fink, 1987), 828–30. Other important secondary literature includes Heinz Meyer, Die Zahlenallegorese im Mittelalter: Methode und Gebrauch (Munich: Fink, 1975); Albert Zimmermann, ed., Mensura. Maß, Zahl, Zahlensymbolik im Mittelalter, Miscellanea Mediaevalia 16.1–2 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1983–1984). On early medieval number symbolism, see Burkhard Taeger, Zahlensymbolik bei Hraban, bei Hincmar – und im Heliand? Studien zur Zahlensymbolik im Frühmittelalter (Munich: Beck, 1970); Wolfgang Haubrichs, Ordo als Form. Strukturstudien zur Zahlenkomposition bei Otfrid von Weißenburg und in karolingischer Literatur, Hermaea Neue Folge 27 (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 2014; 11969). 13  Cornelia Linde, “Twelfth Century Notions of the Canon of the Bible,” in Reading the Bible in the Middle Ages, ed. Jinty Nelson and Damian Kempf (London: Bloomsbury, 2015), 7–18, here: 7.

B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts


Certain medieval theologians in both canon and biblical interpretation indulged in arithmology,14 a theology of numbers that endorsed the power of various integers.15 The Fragment possesses both explicit and implicit arithmological traits. For example, it implies the importance of the number two, by its emphasis on the following pairs: Peter and Paul; Hermas and Pius; the two-fold coming (humility, glory, l. 23), and the “apostles and prophets.” It suggests the importance of the number three with the tripartite groupings: eyes, ears, hands (ll. 29–31); John, Peter, Hermas – three apocalypses; the “third” gospel (i. e., Luke, l. 2); and the three-day  fast (l.  11). It implies the significance of the number four with the Four Gospels (l. 9) and suggests the importance of the number five by enumerating five tenets of the rule of faith: nativity, passion, resurrection, life with disciples, and two-fold return (ll. 20–26). Unquestionably of greatest numerological significance to the Fragmentist is the number seven.16 It occurs three times in the Fragment (ll. 48–50, 54–55, 58) with reference to John’s churches in Revelation, Paul’s letters to churches, and (implicitly) Paul’s letters to individuals: Philemon, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Jude, 2 and 3 John. In contrast, when the Fragmentist discusses heretical writings, emphasis is placed on the loose and unrestricted character of these works and canons. In its discussion of Marcionite forgeries, the Fragment records, “The Laodiceans, and another to the Alexandrians, [both] forged in Paul’s name for the heresy of Marcion, and many other [writings], which cannot be received into the catholic church” (ll. 63–66). Likewise, with regard to heretical books, we read, “But we accept nothing at all of Arsinous or Valentinus or Miltiades, who also wrote a new book of psalms for Marcion, together with Basilides, the Asian, founder of the Cataphrygians” (ll. 81–85): “Nothing in its 14  See Moritz Wedell, “Numbers,” trans. Erik Born, in Fundamental Aspects and Conditions of the European Middle Ages, vol. 2 of Handbook of Medieval Culture, ed. Albrecht Classen (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015), 1205–60. To be clear, the phenomenon is not traceable to just medieval theologians. It is a coherent tradition with its own changes and developments. Arithmology was developed in the classical period first, and early Christian theologians inherited their approach from Philo. Even the twenty-two books of the Old Testament seem to be based on the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet. Strictly speaking, “arithmology” refers to a kind of pre-Christian number symbolism practiced by Middle and Neo-Pythagoreans emphasizing coherent numerical relationships within the first ten numbers. What Eucherius does is quite different, implying the application of critical principles to the work being studied. The exegetical number symbolism of Jewish and Christian exegesis is usually just called number symbolism, while “numerology” has become laden with esoterism. 15 Hopper, Medieval Number Symbolism, 104. 16 The key text that made the number seven crucial in medieval church history was Tyconius, Liber regularum 5.4.1–2. In chapter 5 (De temporibus), the numbers 7, 10, and 12 receive special attention. See Jean-Marc Vercruysse, trans., Le Livre des Règles, by Tyconius, Sources Chrétiennes 488 (Paris: Cerf, 2004), 288. The idea that the seven churches of John are numerically correlated with the seven churches of Paul is mentioned by Cyprian, Test. 1.20, and others thereafter. Jerome makes an important reference to Cyprian’s idea (M. Adriaen, Commentarii in prophetas minores, by Jerome, CCSL 76A [Turnhout: Brepols, 1964], 823).


Chapter Seven: A Star Rising in the Darkness

entirety of ” implies a disorderly morass of unwelcome new writings, which should be rejected if for no other reason than their muddled disarray.17 The Fragment also exemplifies clear interest in arithmology by its abstract engagement with canon structure. As we have observed, the number seven unifies Pauline with Johannine (Rev 2–3) letters to churches (ll. 46–59).18 The letters are not only listed (ll. 50–54), but enumerated (“To the Corinthians first, To the Ephesians second, etc.) after which the Fragmentist specifies that collectively the seven churches symbolize the one, universal church (ll. 56–58). Interest paid to the Gospel of John and Johannine writings also exemplifies the Fragment’s interest in numbers, as this gospel reflects deliberate number symbolism.19 In the vignette supporting the reliability of the Fourth Gospel, reference to revelation on the “third day” (MF l. 11) too captures this interest. Although the seven-letter scheme is not explicitly adopted for the individual letters, in ll. 59–60, the number of letters written to Philemon, Titus, and Timothy is included: “To Philemon one, and To Titus, one, and To Timothy, two.” If this suggests that readers are meant to tally these letters, it is immediately apparent that there are seven in total: Philemon, Titus, 1 and 2 Timothy (ll. 59–60) with Jude and two Johannine letters (ll. 68–69).20 Hebrews as Pauline interrupts the seven-letter pattern to churches; likewise, the individual letters 1, 2 Peter, a third letter of John (without specifying which one), and James cannot be accommodated without interrupting this pattern. The interest of preserving this number symbolism would help explain all of the MF’s text omissions.21 17  Alternatively, the Wolfenbüttel palimpsest (CPL 636) – originally from Bobbio with parts dating from the fifth to the eighth centuries features a copy of Isidore’s Etymologies; it also, however, contains an Indiculus de haeresibus wrongly attributed to Jerome. If regularized, numbers associated with heretics in this text could suggest meaning for the Fragment’s heresiarchs, e. g., 21 + 8 + 35 + 5 + 2 + 20 = 91 = 12 + 22 + 32 + 42 + 52 + 62 [six heresies]). 18  Jack Finegan notes, “the writer is obviously straining to create a seven-fold arrangement out of materials which do not fall naturally into such a pattern,” adding that, if the Fragmentist writes from Rome, Romans may be placed seventh as a point of emphasis (“The Original Form of the Pauline Collection,” HTR [1956]: 85–103, here: 91). Finegan concludes that both Tertullian (Marc. 4.5) and the Fragment are more reliable for which letters are accepted than for the order of those letters (91–92). However, order is one of the Fragment’s central themes. 19  Hopper notes the three appearances in John 20, the division of Jesus’s garments into four parts (John 19:23), 12 hours (John 11:9), and the 153 fish (John 21:11) (Medieval Number Symbolism, 71). 20  Jerome (Epist. 53.8) numerates seven epistles to individuals, although his list is different from the Fragment’s (i. e., James, Peter [2], John [3], and Jude). 21  In other words, canon debates about various texts involved more than the content (e. g., Paul writing to the “Hebrews”) and authorship of a given text. An external strain to maintain seven-fold collections also played a part. There is a difference between what the Fragment specifies as excluded (Laodiceans, Alexandrians, ll. 63–66) and texts on which the Fragment is silent. The choice of excluded texts remains unexplained. Gregory the Great comments that although Paul wrote fifteen epistles, the church receives only fourteen and, by this number, reveals the secrets of these texts: Unde et Paulus apostolus quamuis epistolas quindecim scripserit, sancta tamen ecclesia non amplius quam quattuordecim tenet, ut ex ipso epistolarum numero ostenderet

B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts


As discussed above, seven may also explain the reference to sapientia in ll. 69– 70 since the Wisdom of Solomon can be construed as one of seven sapiential books included in the LXX together with Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (Song of Solomon), Job, and Sirach. Hippolytus’s attribution of all of Solomon’s writings to the “friends of Hezekiah” may suggest that by sapientia, the Fragment denotes, not just Proverbs (Tregelles) or the Wisdom of Solomon (Horbury), but all seven of these sapiential books. The Fragment receives three apocalypses, each featuring the characteristic emphasis on numerology. Revelation demonstrates a marked interest in the number seven (e. g., lampstands, churches, angels, seals, trumpets, heads of the dragon, etc.). The Apocalypse of Peter (Ethiopic, “shining seven times more than the sun,” 1.17), and the Shepherd of Hermas (e. g., “seven women around the tower,” Vis. 3.8[16]:2; “tormented seven-fold,” Sim. 6.3[63]:2; “seventh mountain,” Sim. 9.1[78]8, 9.24[101]:1) also express interest in the number seven, along with other numerological references.22 In the discussion of the Shepherd of Hermas the Fragment proscribes its public reading or publication among both the prophets and apostles. This duality expresses numerological order.23 Provided the Fragment originally began with brief expositions of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark (ordinal references to Luke as “third” and John as “fourth” suggest it did), if added to the three apocalypses, these books equal seven. Although the heretics are not numbered, the final list of heretics balances the initial list of four evangelists suggesting that the end of the Fragment is not significantly mutilated. The final tally of books received by the Fragment would then be as follows: 4 (Gospels) + 7 (letters to churches) + 7 (letters to individuals) + 7 (wisdom books) + 3 (apocalypses) equals 28 – a perfect number, whose whole number factors (1, 2, 4, 7, 14) also attain the same number through addition.24 quod doctor egregius legis et evangelii secreta rimasset (Moralia in Iob 35.20.48, in M. Adriaen, ed., Moralia in Iob Libri XXIII–XXXV, by Gregory the Great, CCSL 143B [Turnhout: Brepols, 1985], 1808, ll. 16–24). See also Gillian R. Evans, The Thought of Gregory the Great (Cambridge and London: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 10. 22 Adela Yarbro Collins, “Numerical Symbolism in Jewish and Early Chrisitan Apocalyptic Literature,” 1221–87. 23  Hopper, Medieval Number Symbolism, 170, 180–81. An unexplored avenue of research with respect to this claim (prophets and apostles) is liturgical, namely, the possible relationship to ordines, which did not always require reading of the complete canon in one year. Henry Parkes writes, “The prophets foretold the key season of Christmas and Easter; the New Testament authors responded, and the remaining books filled in the Ordinary time after Pentecost” (“Biblical Readings for the Night Office in Eleventh-Century Germany: Reconciling Theory and Practice,” in Reading the Bible in the Middle Ages, 77–100, here: 80). Volkmar proposes the title: Ordo librorum quos ecclesia catholica recipit (in Credner, Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanon, 355). 24  A perfect number is a positive integer equal to the sum of its positive divisors, excluding the number itself. For instance, 6 has divisors 1, 2 and 3 (excluding itself ), and 1 + 2 + 3 = 6, so 6 is a perfect number. 28 is perfect as 1 + 2 + 4 + 7 + 14 = 28. The definition is ancient, appearing as early as Euclid’s Elements (7.22) where it is called τέλειος ἀριθμός. Both the Noyon Cathedral


Chapter Seven: A Star Rising in the Darkness

Fascination with numerology as a means to establishing canon begins with Jerome and Augustine and can be seen in Hippolytus, Ambrose, Victorinus, and others including various gnostic writers.25 Isidore of Seville strongly endorsed the application of numerology to the understanding of scripture, citing Wis 11:20: The reckoning of numbers ought not to be despised, for in many passages of sacred writings it elucidates how great a mystery they hold. Not for nothing it is said in praise of God (Wisd. 11:20), “Thou hast ordered all things in measure, and number, and weight” (omnia in mensura et numero et pondere fecisti). … Remove numbers from all things, and everything perishes.26 Take away the computation of time, and blind ignorance embraces all things; those who are ignorant of the method of calculation cannot be differentiated from the other animals. (Etym. 3.4.1–4)27 (1130–1150 ce) in northern France and the Canterbury Cathedral (founded 597, rebuilt 1070– 1077) provide evidence that the number 28 figured in their original architectural design. See Elizabeth Hartog, “1, 2, 3, 6: Early Gothic Architecture and Perfect Numbers,” Architectural Histories 2(1)/17: 1–17., consulted on 19 April 2020. It is true that in the Middle Ages, scholars thought that every range of numbers would have one perfect number: for 1–9, 6; for 10–99, 28; for 100–999, 496; etc. There is evidence for understanding the divisions of a book through number symbolism. In the ninth century, the abbot of Fulda Hrabanus Maurus wrote 28 figured poems about Christ because 28 was a perfect number. The number most often associated with the biblical canon is 72, and with the canon of the Old Testament 22 (for the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet). What may also be notable about the number 28 is that, when added to the books of the OT, it makes 50, the number of the jubilee. Jerome espoused a similar idea (22 books of the OT + 27 books of the NT + 1 God = 50). In the Institutes, Cassiodorus gives a summary of the basic positions known to him (1.12–14; Cassiodorus Senator, An Introduction to Divine and Human Readings, trans. Leslie Webber Jones, 97–103). The traditional total was, however, 70, 71, or 72. See Tristan Major, “The Number Seventy-Two: Biblical and Hellenistic Beginnings to the Early Middle Ages,” Sacris Erudiri 52 (2013): 7–46. Major is also interested in the division into 72 languages and treats the biblical books towards the end of the article. Bruno of Segni, abbot of Monte Cassino (1107–11 ce), sees exactly fifty books in the Bible, as against the traditional 72 (or 70, or 71) (PL 164:320B). However, he analyzes it as 44 books of the OT and 6 books of the NT: Sunt enim quadraginta duo libri Veteris Testamenti, Novi vero sex, quibus si Epistolae Pauli et Epistolae canonicae, quae in duobus voluminibus continentur, iungantur, omnes libri quinquaginta fient. Liber enim Ruth, sicut Hyeronymus dicit, in libro Iudicum computatur; et Esdras et Nehemias in uno volumine coarctantur. Merito igitur quinquaginta sunt circuli, siquidem et libri sunt quinquaginta. This formulation appears to be a combination of the remarks in Jerome and Augustine. I wish credit Jeremy Thompson for this information. 25  Linde, “Twelfth Century Notions of the Canon of the Bible,” 8–10. The list of Amphilocius of Iconium (ca. 380) in Iambi ad Seleucum, is written in verse and uses numbers to identify the sections of the New Testament (PG 37). Amphilocii Iconiensis Iambi ad Seleucum, ed. Eberhard Oberg, Patristische Texte und Studien 9 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1969). Hopper, Medieval Number Symbolism, 77–88. 26 Likely inspired by Augustine, De libero arbitrio, esp.–;– See Augustine, On the Free Choice of the Will, On Grace and Free Choice, and Other Writings, trans. Peter King, Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 48–49, 54–56. 27  Isidore of Seville, The Etymologies, trans. Stephen A. Barney, W. J. Lewis, J. A. Beach, Oliver Berghof with the collaboration of Muriel Hall (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 909. See W. M. Lindsay, ed., Etymologiarum sive Originum, by Isidore of Seville (Oxford:

B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts


In Book 8 (De ecclesia et sectis) of the Etymologies, Isidore echoes the ideal that John’s seven churches (Rev 2–3) symbolize a single universal church, citing Prov 9:1, attributing this book to Solomon. He also refers to “wisdom” as seven: But why is the Church described by John (Apoc. 1:4) as seven, when it is one, unless a single and universal church, filled with a seven-fold spirit, is meant? We know Solomon spoke of the Lord like this (Proverbs 9:1): “Wisdom hath built herself a house, she hath hewn her out of seven pillars.” There is no doubt that wisdom, although it is seven, is also, one as the Apostle says (1 Timothy 3:15): “The church of the living God, which is the pillar and ground of truth.”28 (Etym. 8.1.3)

Likewise, the Pseudo-Isidorian Quaestiones, dating before the mid-eighth century, emphasizes the relevance of numbers for interpreting the scriptures. There, the number seven applies to both the so-called “orders” (gradus) of Christ29 and prophetic modes (praedicatio).30 These ideas are taken up in the twelfth century when faith in numbers as symbols and the determination to find number symbolism in the Bible soared.31 Hugh of St. Victor (1096–1141) ties the numbers of books in the various canonical groupings (ordines) within the two Testaments to a deeper meaning.32 In Didascalicon, De scripturis et scriptoribus sacris, and other writings, he organizes the New Testament on a model of the Old Testament (Pentateuch, Prophets, Hagiographa). The idea, traceable back to Jerome, that books may be included in the Bible that are not regarded as canonical, guides Clarendon, 1911): Quid praestent numeri. Ratio numerorum contemnenda non est. In multis enim sanctarum scripturarum locis quantum mysterium habent elucet. Non enim frustra in laudibus Dei dictum est (Sap. 11, 21): “Omnia in mensura et numero et pondere fecisti.” … Tolle numerum in rebus omnibus, et omnia pereunt. Adime saeculo conputum, et cuncta ignorantia caeca conplectitur, nec differri potest a ceteris animalibus, qui calculi nesciunt rationem. Isidore’s New Testament canon does not match that of the Fragment. See Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 585–86. 28 Isidore, Etym. 8.1.3 (ed. Lindsay, 326): Cur autem Ecclesia cum una sit, a Iohanne septem scribuntur, nisi ut una catholica septiformi plena Spiritu designetur? Sicut et de Domino novimus dixisse Salomonem (Prov 9:1): “Sapientia aedificavit sibi domum et excidit columnas septem,” quae tamen septem una esse non ambigitur, dicente Apostolo (1 Tim 3:15): “Ecclesia Dei vivi, quae est columna et firmamentum Veritatis.” 29  Roger E. Reynolds, “‘At Sixes and Sevens’  – And Eights and Nines: The Sacred Mathematics of Sacred Orders in the Early Middle Ages,” Speculum 54 (1979): 669–84. 30  McNally, “The Pseudo-Isidorian ‘De Vetere et Novo Testamento Quaestiones,’” #41–47 (gradus, 48–49), #52 (praedicatio, 50). 31  Calculation of the final judgment was an important application of this interest. See Richard K. Emmerson and Bernard McGinn, eds., The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993); Caroline Walker Bynum and Paul Freedman, eds., Last Things: Death and the Apocalypse in the Middle Ages (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000). Apocalyptic exegesis and determinations were among the early notable uses of number symbolism. Irenaeus already speaks against it. 32  Linde, “Twelfth Century Notions of the Canon of the Bible,” 11. Reliant on Augustine, Isidore (Etym. 6.2) the Old Testament comprises four (Law, Prophets, Holy Scriptures, Apocrypha) and the New Testament two ordines (ordo evangelicus, ordo apostolicus). See discussion in Rose, Ritual Memory, 53–57, here: 56.


Chapter Seven: A Star Rising in the Darkness

his inclusion of certain church fathers. Hugh’s New Testament thus has three sections: (1)  four Gospels; (2)  Apostles (Acts, Paul’s letters, Catholic letters, Revelation); and (3) patres.33 Responding to Hugh, Robert of Melun also offers three ordines, but the contents differ: (1) four Gospels; (2) Paul’s letters, Catholic letters; and (4) Acts, Revelation. Both Hugh and Robert regard the organization of biblical texts as a scholarly enterprise: symmetry involving number symbolism playing a critical role.34 The Fragment  – its language of ordo (ll.  33–34, 44, 49, 50; cf. 62), the acceptance of works excluded from the canon (l.  77),35 and the division of prophets and apostles (ll. 79–80) – shares much in common with the themes and priorities of these medieval discussions. Its arithmetical emphasis is so pervasive it jeopardizes theological deductions one might normally make from the books listed and their order.

Unification of the Church during the Fourth Century As Sundberg, Hahneman, and others have argued, the late third- and fourthcentury drive toward unification in all aspects of church life comfortably accommodates the Fragment’s clear emphasis on the universal reception of biblical books – what Westcott once called “received and general opinion.”36 Westcott writes of the Fragmentist, He does not suggest a novel theory about the Apostolic books, but states what was held to be certainly known. He does not hazard an individual judgment, but appeals to the practice of ‘The Catholic Church.’37

Metzger refers to this emphasis as the Fragment’s “motif of ecumenicity”:38  Linde, “Twelfth Century Notions of the Canon of the Bible,” 10–11.  Linde writes: “To late medieval theologians, the Bible was a shell containing adaptable building blocks that allowed for arranging and rearranging. While the basic outline of the canon was largely fixed, its precise content and structure remained a subject of discussion for which medieval theologians not just adopted but also adapted the positions of the Church Fathers” (“Twelfth Century Notions of the Canon of the Bible,” 18). 35 Eusebius provides a precedent in his description of Serapion of Antioch permitting the church at Rhossus to read the Gospel of Peter (Hist. eccl. 6.12). 36 General Survey of the History of the Canon, 223. 37 Westcott, General Survey of the History of the Canon, 223–34. 38 Metzger writes, “Twice the author refers to the universal or catholic church, and once (l. 69) the word catholica is used alone, presumably of the church [see discussion in Chapter 6]. This universal church is one and is ‘spread throughout the whole world’ [ll. 55–57]. The Epistles that Paul sent to specific, local congregations are, nevertheless, intended for the Church universal, he argues, inasmuch as Paul wrote to seven such churches. Here the hidden presupposition rests upon the mystical meaning conveyed by the numeral seven, implying completeness and totality” (Canon of the New Testament, 200–1). 33 34

B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts


Twice the author refers to the universal or catholic Church, and once (line 69) the word catholica is used alone, presumably of the Church.39 This universal Church is one and is “spread throughout the whole world.” The Epistles that Paul sent to specific, local congregations are, nevertheless, intended for the Church universal, he argues, inasmuch as Paul wrote to seven such churches. Here the hidden presupposition rests upon the mystical meaning conveyed by the numeral seven, implying completeness and totality.40

Such church unification is emphasized in different ways in both the East and the West.41

Heresiology An important aspect of unification is of course exclusion. Heresiology experiences a “heyday” in the fourth century.42 It may be, thus, that one aim of the Fragment is to trace the expulsion of fourth-century heresies to their first appearance in the second century. Westcott detected in the Fragment an apologetic rather than a historical “form of composition,” suggesting that it was part of a dialogue with a heretic.43 Similarly, Metzger refers to its tone as that of explanation and polemic rather than legislation (i. e., it is not, strictly speaking, a list).44 The association with Gaius posed by Muratori and other scholars may accurately pick up on the Fragment’s refutation of Montanism.45 The Fragmentist could have sought to establish the fourth-century church’s rejection of  A word has probably dropped out in the Fragment here.  Canon of the New Testament, 200–1. 41  Offering only two of numerous examples: (1) Chrysostom and unity (see Nathanael Andrade, “The Processions of John Chrysostom and the Contested Spaces of Constantinople,” JECS 18 [2010]: 161–189, here: 180–181); (2) Theodosian House: “The theme of unité with its connotations of community and connectedness has come up in relation to the Theodosian House providing several emperors and empresses to the eastern and western courts and minting solidi to mark their commitment to each other, such as the wedding in 437. The act of marriage and the Theodosian Code, published during this event, also represent juridical aspects of unité. As pointed out by Inglebert: ‘Théodose II ne pensait pas différemment en donnant un empereur de sa famille à l’Occident en 423 en la personne de Valentinien III et en faisant promulguer son Code à Rome et à Constantinople en 438, réaffirmant ainsi l’unité dynastique et juridique d’un monde romain que l’on ne pouvait pas penser pluriel’ ” (p. 23 of the same volume) (Gita Lønstrup Dal Santo, “Concordia Apostolorum – Concordia Augustorum: Building a Corporate Image for the Theodosian Dynasty,” in East and West in the Roman Empire of the Fourth Century: An End to Unity, ed. Roald Dijkstra, Sanne van Poppel, and Daniëlle Slootjes, Radboud Studies in Humanities 5 [Leiden: Brill, 2015], 99–120, here: 115). 42  Theodore S. De Bruyn, Stephen A. Cooper, and David G. Hunter, “Polemical Aspects of the Commentary,” in Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, trans. Theodore S. De Bruyn (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2017), xcvii–cxiii, here: cvii. 43  General Survey of the History of the Canon, 213. 44  Canon of the New Testament, 200. E. g., disputari in l.  47 could evoke a debate with a heretic. 45  Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6.20.3. 39 40


Chapter Seven: A Star Rising in the Darkness

Montanism with a second-century precedent.46 Montanism was still a problem in the late fourth century.47 With detectable sarcasm, David F. Wright observes that second- through fourth-century objections to Montanism are scarce.48 Witnesses to any such rejection, Wright says, have “all disappeared with remarkably little trace,” indeed calling into question their rejection at all.49 It is possible that the Fragmentist subtly criticizes the church for not vigorously rejecting Montanism from its inception, rather allowing it to function for many years as an ecclesiola in ecclesia.50 Perhaps by the fourth century, such an early condemnation seemed implicit. Three writers of this period reflect on heresies in a way that illuminates, or at least contextualizes, the Fragment’s heresiological remarks: Rufinus of Aquileia, Chromatius of Aquileia, and the somewhat enigmatic Ambrosiaster. With Fortunatianus, Jerome, and Ambrose, these three late antique theologians count among the many authors who might have drafted the Fragment to establish a second-century precedent in a church case against heresies. The location of all three in Aquileia at some point is notable.51 Fortunatianus, Chromatius, and Rufinus hailed from this northern Italian city at the head of the Adriatic, and Jerome too passed time there. The Muratorian Codex’s minor preoccupation with the texts of Ambrose (340–397 ce, Milan) too points to a north Italian ambit

46 Cf. Epiphanius and Theodoret whose lists, as Ferguson points out, include heretics up until

their own time (Ferguson, Review of Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 697). 47  Jerome, Ep. 41 to Marcella (PL 22:474–77). William Tabbernee dates inscriptional materials to the year 600 ce. See Montanist Inscriptions and Testimonia: Epigraphic Sources Illustrating the History of Montanism, NAPS Patristic Monograph Series 16 (Macon, GA: Mercer University, 1997), 471–552. 48  According to David F. Wright, “More extensive remains of Montanist works would no doubt be extant if catholic refutations had displayed a greater aptitude for survival. The disappearance of so many of the latter is far more surprising than the loss of the former, and is perhaps without parallel in the early church. (It may even merit an explanation bearing upon the story of Montanism.) Eusebius was much better off, having at his disposal ‘the amplest supply of historical material’ (HE 5:16:1), from which he preserved invaluable extracts from the works of ‘the Anonymous,’ a contemporary of Montanus, and Apollonius, who wrote some four decades later, about 210. But the list of lost catholic ripostes to the New Prophecy (the selfdesignation of ‘the Montanists’ – a title not attested before the middle and late fourth century; cf. Sources, pp. 89, 153) is much longer, including writings by Miltiades, Alcibiades, Claudius Apollinarius, Rhodo, Soter, Eleutherus, Melito, Gaius, Serapion and Clement of Alexandria, as well as the monarchian heretic Praxeas” (“Why Were the Montanists Condemned?” Them 2.1 [1976]: 15–22, here: 15). 49  Tabbernee, Montanist Inscriptions and Testimonia, 55. The Carmen falsely attributed to Tertullian attacks Marcionism. Tregelles, and many others since, view the Fragment as anti-Montanist. Armstrong notes that the Fragmentist is “notably anti-Montanist and anti-Marcionite” (“Victorinus of Pettau,” 28). Although Tabbernee has introduced a host of epigraphic data unknown to Wright, Wright’s point remains valid. 50  Tabbernee, Montanist Inscriptions, 55. 51  Concerning Chromatius's knowledge of the Fragment, see discussion in Chapter 5.

B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts


(the two cities are 381.4 km by car today). Curiously, the mention of Pope Pius may point back to Aquileia as well. According to the Liber pontificalis, Pius came from Aquileia. When the Fragmentist writes (temporibus nostris) in connection with the Shepherd of Hermas and Pius, he could be locating himself, like Pius and his brother Hermas, in Aquileia. It may be possible to contextualize the MF within the comments that these writers made about heresy.52

Rufinus of Aquileia As already discussed, Rufinus’s handling of the canon shows similarities to the MF. He lists the antilegomena at the end of the list of received books, classifies Wisdom as the first among these, and mentions a text that could be identified with the Apocalypse of Peter. That said, his New Testament canon does not reflect the MF’s peculiar omissions (Symb. 36–38; PL 21:335–86, with canon list at 373–75). Rufinus’s translating activity may underlie features of the Fragment as well as of the other unique texts in the same codex. Certain parallels, such as aspects of the Johannine legend (MF ll. 10–16), only appear in the Fragment and in Eusebius, translated by Rufinus. The sermo de Abraham (fols. 72r–73v) seems to be based on a text of Origen now known only through Rufinus’s translation of the first decade of the fifth century.53 It may be not only a neighboring work in the codex but the creation of a local or nearby writer. In the present context it is curious that the Liber pontificalis refers to Pius, mentioned in MF l. 76, as the “son of Rufinus” and “from the city of Aquileia.” Duchesne had long ago observed that this filiation could not be a coincidence, since the redactor of the LP depended on Rufinus’s works, and he was relieved that the redactor did not project this fiction of Pius’s parentage on the historical writer and translator but merely borrowed his name and origin. It is a provocative, but inconclusive pointer to the city’s significance for these individuals, the related texts and the legends that grew up around them.

52 For background on fourth-century Christian Aquileia, see Robert McEachnie, Chromatius of Aquileia and the Making of a Christian City (New York: Routledge, 2017); Pier Franco Beatrice and Alessio Persic, eds., Chromatius of Aquileia and His Age (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011); Sara Gentili, “Politics and Christianity in Aquileia in the Fourth Century a. d.,” L’antiquité classique 61 (1992): 192–208. 53  Ferrari, “Il Codex Muratorianus,” 46.


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Chromatius of Aquileia While important parallels between the MF and Chromatius of Aquileia’s presentation of the evangelists have already been treated, Chromatius’s observations on heresy recall the subject and vocabulary of Ambrosiaster and the Fragment – allowing us to triangulate a relationship between their writings.54 According to Robert McEachnie, Aquileia mixed eastern and western ideals more than Milan. This city may thus offer a context for the MF’s unique canon emphases.55 In sermon 21 Chromatius refers to heresy as “bitter” and faith as “sweet” in the context of John’s gospel – a passage reminiscent of Ambrosiaster on Revelation 10.56 According to Ambrosiaster, Photinus and Sabellius do not understand that the son is the one “through whom all things are” (per quem sunt omnia, l. 13). Speaking about Photinus Chromatius adduces John 1:1 (21.3, ll. 56–59). He does not cite John 1:3, which refers to Christ as the one through whom all things came into being (omnia per ipsum facta sunt), but emphasizes its proposition, nonetheless. Concerning Arius, a similar point is made. Even though it was effectively dead in Aquileia by his time, Chromatius rails against Arianism to support his own political interests. In this case, the structure of the sentences between Chromatius and Ambrosiaster is similar, both with a clause beginning nisi. (A) Chromatius, Sermo 21.3 (l.51) Ambrosiaster, Quaest. 76.1

nisi proprie de paterno corde processisset nisi proprie esset de deo

In these passages, Ambrosiaster, Quaest. 76 appears to give the nucleus or sketch of an idea, which Chromatius, Serm. 21 develops. Ambrosiaster emphasizes the grammar of theological formulations (the prepositions per, a, de), while Chromatius prefers biblical texts and metaphors (sweet-bitter) with an emphasis on John’s preaching (praedicatio/praedico has six occurrences in 21.2–4). Other comparative evidence includes: (B) Chromatius, Sermo. 21.2 (l.31) Quod et factum est … Domitiano … relegauerat Ambrosiaster, Quaest. 76.2 Ista revelatio…facta est … relegatus a Domitiano (C) Chromatius, Sermo 21.3 (l.51) perfidiae Ambrosiaster, Quaest. 76.1 perfidis (D) Chromatius, Sermo 21.3 praedicatio (throughout) Ambrosiaster, Quaest. 76.1 praedicari

54  Furthermore, Rufinus wrote at the request of Chromatius, so would have had access to similar traditions. 55  McEachnie notes that scholars sometimes substitute or conflate the opinions of Rufinus and Chromatius (Chromatius of Aquileia and the Making of a Christian City, 93). 56  McEachnie, Chromatius of Aquileia and the Making of a Christian City, 67, 74–75; Ambrosiaster, Quaest. 76 (ed. Souter, 129–30). See further pp. 228–29 above.

B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts


The comments on the Manicheans in Ambrosiaster, Quaest. 76.157 and Chromatius, Tract. Mat. 24.1.358 both focus on the dignity of marriage, although Ambrosiaster’s proof-text is John 2 and Chromatius’s, Matt 5:31–37 and 19:6. For Ambrosiaster, to confute the heretics one merely needs to read the first two chapters of John’s Gospel: chapter 1 against Photinus, Sabellius, Arius, and Marcion and chapter 2 against the Manicheans. For Chromatius, matters are slightly more complicated, in part because Marcion and Manicheans both deny resurrection in the flesh (Tract. Mat. 26.4). It is not necessary to posit that any of these figures was the Fragmentist, but it seems that Chromatius, Ambrosiaster and the redactor of the Fragment drew on shared traditions and a common rhetoric. It is, however, worth considering the case for Ambrosiaster in greater detail.

Ambrosiaster Ambrosiaster (fl.  366–384) was a late fourth-century advocate of the unity of the Roman church against the threat of heresy, who also spent significant time in Aquileia.59 Heretical groups in his Commentaria are a point of contact that allows Alexander Souter to demonstrate Ambrosiaster’s authorship of the pseudo-Augustinian Quaestiones.60 According to Souter, “Hardly any heretic is mentioned in the one [Commentaria] that does not appear in the other [Quaestiones] also.”61 Souter also observes that Ambrosiaster addresses dead heretics as if alive in the person(s) of their followers.62 Arians, Photinians, Marcionites, and Manicheans are the chief enemies against which he inveighs.63 In the Quaestiones, Ambrosiaster groups heretics by three errors: (1)  with regard to the Trinity and Christology (e. g., Arian, especially Photinus of Sirmium [‘Fotinus’]);  Ed. Souter, 129, l. 18. Étaix and Lemarié, 309, l. 22. 59  Ambrosiaster has been identified as Hilary of Poitiers, Isaac the ex-Jew, Decimius Hilarianus Hilarius, Evagrius of Antioch, and others. Dom Morin alone accounts for three of these identifications: “L’Ambrosiaster et le Juif converti Isaac, contemporain du pape Damase,” RHR 4 (1899): 97–121; idem, “Hilarius l’Ambrosiaster,” RBén (1903): 113–31; idem, “Qui est l’Ambrosiaster? Solution nouvelle,” RBén 31 (1914–1919): 1–34; idem, “Una nuova possibilità a proposito dell’Ambrosiastro,” Athenaeum 6 (1918): 62–71; idem, “La critique dans une impasse: À propos du cas de l’Ambrosiaster,” RBén 40 (1928): 251–59. For an up-to-date treatment, see David G. Hunter, “The Author, Date, and Provenance,” in De Bruyn, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, xxiii–xxix. Cf. the older rumination on this question by C. H. Turner, “Niceta and Ambrosiaster II,” JTS (1906): 355–72. Turner concludes with advice Morin was unable to heed: “The temptation to abolish the anonymous is one which the wise man will do well to resist” (370). 60 Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 38. 61  Study of Ambrosiaster, 38. 62  Study of Ambrosiaster, 38. 63  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 174. Rufinus identifies Photinus as heretic in Comm. in Symb. Apost. 39 (PL 21:376). 57

58 Ed.


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(2) with regard to cosmology and salvation (e. g., Marcionite and Manichean); and, (3) schismatics (e. g., Montanist, Novatian, Donatist).64 The Fragment’s approach to heresy matches Ambrosiaster’s belief that heresy and schism (without making a clear distinction between the two, cf. MF l. 42) are detectable even in the earliest church.65 However, as discussed above in Chapter 6, the Fragment’s concatenation of heretics is impenetrable. The passage is provided again here for reference. 81 85

Arsinoi autem seu Valentini vel Miltiadis nihil in totum recipimus qui etiam novum Psalmorum librum Marcioni conscripserunt una cum Basilide Asiano Cataphrygum constitutorem.

Experimenting with different reconstructions, for centuries scholars have sought to cut this Gordian knot. Hilgenfeld reads arsinoi in l. 81 as referring to Marcion.66 The parallel line in the BPs records (see Chapter 5) arsinofa (arsmofa, C2 and C3). Since the text of the BPs is generally more reliable than the Fragment, the appearance of the letter “f ” is surprising. In addition, some scholars read ciue in place of seu (siue is an alternate form) in MF l. 81 creating a parallel with BP l. 84 (una cum basilide ciue asyano).67 In terms of the reconstruction of this passage, no one to my knowledge has yet considered Jerome’s description of a book written for the emperor Valentinian I (365–375 ce) by Photinus, the late fourth-century Christian bishop of Sirmium known for denying the incarnation (Vir. ill. 107, written ca. 392/3 ce).68 According to D. H. Williams, “Jerome knew or had heard that Photinus had written a work called Contra gentes and a book addressed to the emperor Valentinian 64 De Bruyn, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, cviii–cxiii. Concerning the late fourth-century Arian views held by Photinus of Sirmium (often ‘Fotinus’), Lydia Speller explains, “In four passages the Photinians are mentioned together with the Manichees or Marcionites, in order to draw the contrast that, whereas the Manichees and Marcionites deny the humanity of Christ, the Photinians deny his divinity” (“New Light on the Photinians: The Evidence of Ambrosiaster,” JTS 34 [1983]: 99–113, here: 103). Speller also notes that: “Arians and Photinians are twice cited as being equally mistaken in their views, although Ambrosiaster makes no distinction between the heresies in either passage” (“New Light on the Photinians,” 103). Cf. Daniel H. Williams, “Monarchianism and Photinus of Sirmium as the Persistent Heretical Face of the Fourth Century,” HTR 99 (2006): 187–206. 65  Ambrosiaster uses haeretici and schismatici, haereses and schismata, without a clear distinction between the two (Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 638). Cf. MF ll. 42, 65. See excursus on pp. 264–65. 66  Historisch-kritische Einleitung in das Neue Testament, 97–98. See discussion in Preuschen, Analecta, 32–33. 67  Preuschen, Analecta, 33. 68  PL 23:703B. Even though Valentinian I apparently involved himself in theological matters as seldom as possible, he ordered Photinus’s expulsion from Sirmium in 375 ce more than two decades after he was deposed perhaps for civil disruption (Williams, “Monarchianism and Photinus of Sirmium,” 192 n. 25). Even still, his followers continued to meet (192).

B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts


I.”69 Bearing in mind that the Fragment may have been copied from an abbreviated exemplar (see Chapter 4), arsinofaautemseuualentini could present a mislaid attempt to expand an abbreviation of ariani fotini civis ualentiniano or ariani fotini sub valentiniano (“[the book] of the Arian Fotinus, citizen under Valentinian”).70 In other words, it may be Photinus’s book that the Fragmentist rejects. This conjecture gains traction in light of several additional observations. Ambrosiaster frequently attacks the fourth-century Manicheans, referring to their founder Mani as Manichaeus.71 In the fourth century, various collections of psalms are attributed to the Manicheans.72 The Liber Pontificalis traces the first appearance of Mani in Rome to Pope Miltiades (310/311–314).73 In 372 ce, Valentinian I forbade meetings of Manicheans in Rome, punishing some of their leaders.74 If Marcioni in MF l. 83 is an incorrect expansion of Manichaeus or even Manicheans – explaining the plural verb (conscripserunt, ll. 83–84)75 – a proper reconstruction of ll. 81–84 would reject a new book of psalms composed “for Manichaeus” or “by Manicheans” at the time of Pope Miltiades. That said, una might, rather, belong with recipimus: “We do not receive anything in its entirety of … the one under Miltiades.” In this case, it would appear that “the one under Miltiades” is Donatus (d.  355), leader of a north African schismatic sect, whom Pope Miltiades found guilty of re-baptizing clergy, who had lapsed and were advancing a schism. According to Augustine (Ep. 55.18.34), Donatus’s successor and bishop at Carthage, Parmenianus (d. 392), commissioned books and new psalms for propagandistic purposes, even prompting Augustine’s own counter-psalm (Psalmus contra partem Donati). If Marcioni in MF l. 83 is an incorrect expansion of Parmeniani, this would explain the relative clause concerning a new book of psalms (qui etiam novum  “Monarchianism and Photinus of Sirmium,” 193 n. 30. 23 (ed. Souter, 49); for Ambrosiaster’s use of Arrii, see the index entry in Souter’s edition at p. 504. Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 28. Samuel N. C. Lieu, Manichaeism in the Later Roman Empire and Medieval China: A Historical Survey (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1985), 110. On the new contextual implications of civis in the early fifth century, see Robert Flierman and Els Rose, “Banished from the Company of the Good: Christians and Aliens in Fifth-Century Rome,” Al-Masāq 32 (2020): 64–86, here: 68–69. 71   E. g., Quaest. 127.18 (ed. Souter, 406–7). 72 E. g., Coptic Manichean Psalter. Lieu, Manichaeism in Later Roman Empire and Medieval China, 88–90. On the Psalms of Thom, see C. R. C. Allberry, Coptic Manichaean Psalm-book (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1938), 1.2:203–27 (Index C); Torgny Save-Soderbergh, Studies in the Coptic Manichaean Psalm-book (Uppsala: Almquist and Wiksells, 1949). Ambrosiaster discusses Manichean books in Quaest. 127 (ed. Souter, 399–416, especially 127.18 at 407). 73  Samuel Cohen, “Schism and the Polemic of Heresy: Manichaeism and the Representation of Papal Authority in the Liber Pontificalis,” Journal of Late Antiquity 8 (2015): 195–230. 74  On similar prohibitions carried out later by Valentinian III (r. 425–455), see Flierman and Rose, “Banished from the Company of the Good,” 64–86. 75  Bischoff, Latin Palaeography, 168. See De Bruyn, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, cix–cx. 69

70 Quaest.


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Psalmorum librum Parmeniani conscripserunt).76 Although Ambrosiaster clearly refers to them in Quaestio 110, in a discussion of the cathedra pestilentiae of Ps 1:1, he does not explicitly identify the Donatists in the Quaestiones (perhaps similar to the oblique reference here).77 The last lines of the MF’s catalogue of heretics (ll. 84–85) reject the Montanists under the label of “Cataphrygians.” Ambrosiaster himself refers to the Montanists as “Cataphrygians” in Comm. in Rom 2:16.78 Line 84 does not refer to Basilides, the Alexandrian gnostic teacher, but to Basil of Caesarea (“Asia”  – Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia) who condemned Montanus for baptizing converts with an unorthodox Trinitarian formula (Ep. 188). In light of these observations, the passage might be reconstructed as follows: We do not receive anything in its entirety of the Arian Fotinus, who lived under Valentinian, or of the one (i. e., Donatus) under Miltiades, who (i. e., the Donatians) also wrote (pl.) a book of psalms for Parmenianus, [and] together with Basil, the Asian, [we do not receive anything in its entirety] of the founder of the Cataphrygians.

Like the pairs Photinus–Valentinian I and Donatus–Miltiades, the pair Cata­ phry­gians–Basil orients the heretical, in this case Montanist, movement historically, providing the name of an authority by which the heresy was condemned. This combination of three heretics matches Ambrosiaster’s categories and cast of characters. According to Ambrosiaster, the Marcionites “have almost all died out” (in 1 Tim 4:2 [§ 5]), explaining why, if he wrote the MF, he would mention them in ll. 64–65 as writers of debunked letters (Laodiceans, Alexandrians).79 The broader rhetoric of heresy in the Fragment is also reminiscent of Ambrosiaster. MF ll.  67–68 (fel enim cum melle misceri non congruit) interprets heretical books as gall spoiling honey. Ambrosiaster characterizes biblical books that “taste sweet as honey” as “producing bitterness in the stomach” of the heretic through incorrect interpretation (Quaest. 72, exegeting Rev 10:9–10).80 76  Daniel J. Nodes, “The Organization of Augustine’s Psalmus contra Partem Donati,” VC 63 (2009): 390–408, here: 392; Vincent Hunink, “Singing Together in Church: Augustine’s Psalm against the Donatists,” in Sacred Words: Orality, Literacy and Religion, ed. André Lardinois, Josine Blok, and M. G. M. van der Poel (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 389–403, here: 397. Oddly, an important source for Parmenianus is the mid-fifth-century anonymous Praedestinatus. The text is based on Augustine’s works, and the purpose is to attack Augustine while appearing to defend him. 77  De Bruyn, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, cxii. 78 De Bruyn, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, 47. 79 If the MF was composed when the Marcionite church peaked in size, we would expect a comparison of the catholic and Marcionite canons. It is odd that the MF does little more than mention Marcion a few times without content. My thanks to Stephen A. Cooper for this and other advice in this section. 80  Quaest. 72 (PL 35:2266–67; cf. Quaest. 76; ed. Souter, 129–30): post, sicut dixi, scripsit Evangelium, quod haereticis amarum est, quos in ventre significavit. Sunt enim carnales, quia male intelligunt Christum. In ore autem tuo, quod dicit, erit dulcis tanquam mel. Christians are

B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts


He specifies the Gospel of John as one such book – the very book John is commanded to eat in Rev 10:9–10 – adducing Photinus, followed by Marcion and Manichaeus, as evidence of abdominal bitterness.81 This passage, in turn, has a close parallel in Chromatius, Sermo 21.2–3.82 Stepping back momentarily from this conjecture that Ambrosiaster or someone imitating his works composed the Fragment, we recall that all seven minor works in the codex are attributed to Ambrose or Ambrosiaster with the exception of the Fragment and one creed (Athanasius).83 Some of these minor works (esp. fols. 10r–12r and 71v–73v) may reflect subsequent insertions on blank pages (see Chapter 3), giving them the added air of a collection within a collection and further suggesting an Ambrosian/Ambrosiastrian orientation of the Fragment.84 the “body” of Christ and heretics, the bowels (carnality), experiencing sweetness (canonical scripture) as bitterness. 81 Quaest. 76 (ed. Souter, 130): Datus est illi liber qui dulcis quidem esset in ore, sed amarum faceret uentrem, ut ex his qui uidentur unius corporis esse homines, istis dulcis esset, qui propter quod integrae professionis sunt, in ore significati siunt – hoc enim dulce in ore est, quod uerum est – , illis autem qui heretica prauitate carnaliter uiuunt uel sentiunt, propter quod et in uentre significati sunt, amarus. Giuseppe Carlo Martini discusses the two recensions of this question in “Le recensioni delle Quaestiones Veteris et Novi Testamenti dell’Ambrosiaster,” Richerche di storia religiosa (1954): 40–62, here: 46–53. 82 Ed. Étaix and Lemarié, 97–98. See discussion in Chapter 5. 83 The seven minor works are: (1) Muratorian Fragment (fols. 10r–11r) (2) the repeated excerpt from Ambrose, Abr. (fols. 11r–12r); (3) In Matt. Frag. (fols. 19r–29r); (4) De tribus mensuris (fols. 29v–30r); (5)  De Petro apostolo (fols. 30v–31v); (6)  the excerpt from Ambrose, Abr. (fols. 71v–72r); and, (7) Sermo de Abr. (fols. 72r–73v). Texts attributed to Hilary and Lucifer have similarities to Ambrosiaster’s writings. See Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 161–64, 183–85, 207– 8, 214. Souter defends Ambrosiastrian authorship of the anonymous In Matt. Frag.: “Reasons for regarding Hilarius (Ambrosiaster) as the Author of the Mercati-Turner Anecdoton,” JTS 5 (1903–1904): 608–21; cf. idem, A Study of Ambrosiaster, 164. C. H. Turner objects that In Matt. Frag. appears more like a copy of Ambrosiaster: “The style of the fragment [i. e., In Matt. Frag.] is rugged, forcible, uncouth: the passages quoted from Ambrosiaster seem rather to expand and polish the material, and to whittle down its peculiarities” (“Niceta and Ambrosiaster II,” 371). Turner thus proposes two alternate theories to common authorship: “That the fragment belongs to some older Latin author whom Ambrosiaster closely studied, the other that it was Greek in origin and that Ambrosiaster was himself the translator of it into Latin,” acknowledging the difficulties of both alternatives (371). Turner’s observations about In Matt. Frag. pertain to the MF. Alessandra Pollastri treats three texts in Ambr. I 101 sup. attributed to Ambrosiaster in Frammenti esegetici su Matteo. Il Vangelo di Matteo (Mt 24,20–42). Le tre misure (Mt 13,33). L’apostolo Pietro (Mt 26,51–53–72–75), Biblioteca patristica 50 (Bologna: EDB, 2014). 84  If the texts on fols. 10r–12r, 71v–75v (including fol. 74rv), and possibly fols. 19r–31v were added to a codex originally containing Eucherius’s Formulae, Instructiones, and John Chrysostom, Ep. Theod. I, the terminus post quem of the additions would be no earlier than the fifth century (i. e., after Ambrosiaster) by someone (book owner or scribe) with an interest in Ambrose and regarding pseudo-Ambrosian works as authentic. All (i. e., seventy) manuscripts of Ambrosiaster’s Commentaria with the exception of one, the oldest manuscript at Monte Cassino, are attributed to Ambrose (Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 161–63). On the Ambrosian character of texts in Ambr. I 101 sup., Souter writes, “I have attempted to claim a recently published fragment on the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew for this author. This piece is found in the celebrated eighth century MS at Milan, which contains the Muratorian Canon, and, like


Chapter Seven: A Star Rising in the Darkness

Mercati first edited in Matt. Frag. 24 (fols. 19r–29v). Martini convincingly attributes this text to Ambrosiaster – this thesis recently backed by Di Santo.85 Martini highlights a parallel between in Matt. Frag. 4 and MF ll.  23–26 unnoticed by Mercati or Turner.86 Citing Turner’s edition of this text, the parallel passages are as follows: Quia sicut primo aduentu in homine Deus uisus est, ita et in Deo Dei filio homo uidebitur spiritali uigore praeclarus.87 (in Matt. Frag. 4) ac de gemino eius adventu primo in humilitate despectus, quod fuit, secundo potestate regali praeclaro, quod futurum est. (MF ll. 23–26)

Martini also cites Victorinus of Pettau (Comm. Apoc. 1.7) and Tertullian, Apol. 21 (PL 1:400) as parallels, but neither of these passages uses praeclarus.88 Bringing additional evidence to bear, Alessandra Pollastri is the most recent scholar to argue that Ambrosiaster composed all five fragments in the Muratorian Codex (Orate ne fiat fuga vestra hieme vel sabbato, De adventu Domini Christi, De die et hora nemo scit, De tribus mensuris, De Petro apostolo).89 Moreover, the genre of the Fragment (see Chapter 1) resembles the pro­ po­ sitional question-and-answer genre of Ambrosiaster’s writings (Quaest., Comm.).90 Ambrosiaster and the Fragmentist also both demonstrate little to no the other pieces comprised in that strange farrago, is anonymous” (Study of Ambrosiaster, 164). To my knowledge, Souter is silent on correspondences between Ambrosiaster and the MF. Although he assumes that Ambrosiaster relies on Lucifer and takes seriously Ambrosiaster’s identity as Hilary of Poitiers, he mentions neither Lucifer’s regula fidei in Ambr. I 101 sup. fol. 75r nor the regulae attributed to Ambrosiaster (fols. 74r–v) and Hilary of Poitiers (fols. 75r–v). The Comma Johanneum too connects Ambrosiaster and Ambr. I 101 sup., and the emphasis on free will that Ferrari observes in the codex is an aspect of Ambrosiaster’s writings. On the latter point, see De Bruyn, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, xcv. 85 I wish to thank Stephen A. Cooper for this information. See David G. Hunter, “The Author, Date, and Provenance,” in De Bruyn, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, xxiii–xxix, here: xxiv n. 7. Martini, Ambrosiaster, 50–73 attributes In Matt. Frag. 24 (Ambr. I 101 sup. fols. 19r–29v) to Ambrosiaster. Recently Emanuele Di Santo affirmed the attribution, L’Apologetica dell’Ambrosiaster: Cristiani, pagani et giudi nella Roma tardoantica, SEAug 112 (Rome: Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum, 2008), 21–22. 86  Ambrosiaster, 142 n. 1. 87  Turner, “An Exegetical Fragment of the Third Century,” 230. Turner mentions the MF on p. 221, but he makes no reference to this parallel. Turner favors Victorinus as the author of In Matt. Frag., possibly a translation of Hippolytus (227). Cf. identical reading in Mercati, Varia, 27. 88  Ambrosiaster, 142 n. 1. The parallel in Apol. 21 (PL 1:400) is in the context of Tertullian’s argument that the Jews have misunderstood the two advents. The parallel in Comm. Apoc. 1.7 is in the context of Victorinus’s exegesis of Rev 1:7: first, Jesus came “hidden in humanity”; in a little while, he will come in “majesty and glory.” 89 Pollastri summarizes her position as follows: “Nel riprendere in mano i cinque frammenti per la presente pubblicazione ho potuto individuare una serie di ulteriori analogie – che emergeranno nel corso di questa introduzione e nel commento – grazie alle quali ritengo rafforzata la convinzione che anch’essi siano usciti dalla penna del l’Ambrosiaster” (Frammenti esegetici su Matteo, 50). 90  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 63. Lunn-Rockliffe, Ambrosiaster’s Political Theology, 63;

B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts


knowledge of Greek and take a similar approach to exegesis.91 Ambrosiaster’s scriptural exegesis avoids allegorizing; his commentaries on Paul’s letters consist primarily of explanatory phrases.92 Stephen Cooper describes how each tractate (tractatus) opens with a short preface (argumentum, prologus) containing “a synopsis of key elements for the interpretation of the epistle” that includes “the history and present situation of the church or … the person addressed, as well as the apostle’s aims in writing them.”93 Cooper characterizes the style of these biblical expositions as follows: The exposition proceeds largely by a summarizing paraphrase (often omitting any discussion of the individual elements of the passage), which Ambrosiaster tends to introduce by a formula: dicit or dixit (“he says/said”), exponit (“he explains”), manifestum est (“it is obvious”), verum est (“it is true”), ostendit (“he shows/has shown”), monet (“he admonishes”), admonet (“he advises”). Phrases such as hoc est and id est (“this is/this means” and “that is/that means”) abound to explain individual words, phrases, or the fuller content expressed by the language of the text. … Very frequently Ambrosiaster introduces a paraphrase with significat (“he means”) or vult (“he wants”).94

Granting that the Fragment is a very small (perhaps too small) text sample with a narrow interest and vocabulary, lexical correspondences with Cooper’s description of Ambrosiaster’s style may be noteworthy, including similar formulaic usage of dicit (l. 59), verum (est) (ll. 54, 59, 78), and related expressions, such as A. Gudeman, Λύσεις, PW 13/2 (1927): 2511–29. According to Lunn-Rockliffe, “Some of Ambrosiaster’s Quaestiones were delivered as sermons” (72). 91  According to Souter (Earliest Latin Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul, 49), E. W. Watson infers from Ambrosiaster’s Latin that he was a Greek by birth (Watson’s review of CSEL 50, by A. Souter, in Classical Review 23 [1909]: 236–37, here: 237; cf. 84). Ambrosiaster had little to no interest in original languages. His logic was that Tertullian, Victorinus, and Cyprian relied on pristine Greek manuscripts and could be trusted (Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 198–200). Cf. Michaela Zelzer, “Zur Sprache des Ambrosiaster,” WS 83 (1970): 196–213; Watson’s review of Souter, CSEL 50, 236–37. While doubt exists that Ambrosiaster’s first language was Latin, the case that his first language was Greek is not strong. See De Bruyne, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, lxvii n. 28, lxx. In addition, Ambrosiaster disliked Greek thought and dismissed Jerome’s interest in the Greek original of the New Testament in favor of the Old Latin version. See J. N. D. Kelly, Jerome: His Life, Writings, and Controversies (London: Duckworth, 1975), 149; Heinrich J. Vogels, Das Corpus Paulinum des Ambrosiaster, Bonner Biblische Beiträge 13 (Bonn: Hanstein, 1957). This could explain palpaverunt, MF l. 31. Jerome does not include Ambrosiaster in Vir. ill. 92 Stephen A. Cooper, “Ambrosiaster’s Exegesis of the Pauline Epistles,” in De Bruyn, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, lxi–lxxv, here: lxx. 93  Cooper, “Ambrosiaster’s Exegesis,” in De Bruyn, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, lxx; Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 6. 94 Cooper, “Ambrosiaster’s Exegesis,” in De Bruyn, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, lxx; cf. chart on l–li comparing recensions. Also, Stephen A. Cooper, Marius Victorinus’s Commentary on Galatians (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 243 n. 242, citing Wilhelm Geerlings, “Zur exegetischen Methode des Ambrosiasters,” in Stimuli: Exegese und ihre Hermeneutik in Antike und Christentum: Festschrift für Ernst Dassmann, ed. Georg Schöllgen and Clemens Scholten (Münster: Aschendorff, 1996). Cf. Westcott’s conjecture concerning significat in l. 39 (General Survey of the History of the Canon, 544–45 n. 9).


Chapter Seven: A Star Rising in the Darkness

licet (ll. 55, 58) and declarat/declarant (ll. 38, 41).95 De Bruyn observes Ambrosiaster’s frequent use of an initial et (ll. 1, 7, 8, 11, 16, 37, 38, 44, 57, 65, 68, 69, 77) and a postpositive enim (ll. 32, 57, 67) to indicate a new sentence or additional thought. These too are features of the MF.96 Going a step further, the following table lists all correspondences between the Fragment and the distinctive features of Ambrosiaster that Souter used to authenticate the Quaestiones.97 Table 1. Ambrosiaster and the Fragment: Parallel Words and Phrases Word/Phrase

MF l. #


dicens uno ac principali

29 19

introduction of scriptural quotations98 synonymous adverbs, adjectives99

 However, the MF reflects a special use of this word meaning “to reveal.”


96 De Bruyn, “A Note on the Translation,” in idem, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline

Epistles: Romans, cxxix; Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 72–73. Verbal parallels between MF and Ambrosiaster, Commentary on the Pauline Epistles include: (1) MF l. 60–61 || 1 Tim 5:1 iuniores quasi fratres censet admonendos cum affectu dilectionis (ed. Vogels, 3:278); (2) MF l. 10 || Col 4:10 Marcus consobrinus Barnabae (ed. Vogels, 3:205); (3) MF l. 22 || 1 Tim 1:15 conversationi humanae se miscuit sciens peccatis se corrumpi non posse (ed. Vogels, 3:256); (4) MF ll. 26–27 || 1 Tim 5:16 (1) quid mirum, si apostolica potestas futura potuit praevidere? (ed. Vogels, 3:283) (5) MF l. 23 || 1 Tim 1:12 (1) quod de domini potestate et gemina nativitate et resurrectione et spe praedicabatur (ed. Vogels, 3:255); (6) MF l. 57, dinoscitur; cf. esp. Gal. prol. 3: quo dinoscuntur filii esse Abrahae (ed. Vogels, 3:4); (7) MF l. 18, nihil differt || Phil 2:6 (ed. Vogels, 3:139); (8) MF l. 35, sub uno (libro?) || Col 3:5 (2, 3) (ed. Vogels, 3:193–94); 1 Tim 1:3 (ed. Vogels, 3:253); (9) MF ll. 44–46 || Col 1:18 (1) ecclesiae caput est Christus, si tamen omnes unum sentiant caelestes et terreni, ut sint ecclesia, hoc est unius fidei. si quo minus, truncati capite totius corporis, id est a creatore suo seiuncti amentia quadam et vanitate bacchantur. Qui est principium, primogenitus ex mortuis, ut fiat in omnibus ipse primatum tenens (ed. Vogels, 3:173); (10) MF l. 12, alterutrum || 1 Thess 5:6 (ed. Vogels, 3:229); (11) MF l. 5, adsumsisset || Gal 2:1 adsumpto (ed. Vogels, 3:17); (12) MF l. 24, in humilitate || Gal 2:4 (3) cum humilitate (ed. Vogels, 3:20); (13) MF ll. 62–63, ordinationem ecclesiasticae, in honorem tamen ecclesiae catholicae in ordinationem ecclesiasticae disciplinae sanctificatae || Eph 2:20, de ordinatione ecclesiae disputat (ed. Vogels, 3:85–86); (14) MF ll. 78–80, neque inter prophetas completo numero neque inter apostolos in fine temporum || Eph 2:20, quod enim apostoli praedicaverunt, profetae futurum dixerunt; and, profetae enim disposuerunt, nam apostoli fundamenta adiecerunt (iercerunt) (ed. Vogels, 3:85–86); (15) MF l. 4 || 2 Tim. prol. ad Timotheum, ut iam eruditum ecclesiastica disciplina (cf. Chromatius, Tract. Mat., eruditus) (ed. Vogels, 3:295); (16) Tit 3:12: ut plenius illum firmaret in ecclesiastica disciplina (ed. Vogels, 3:334); (17) Eph 4:11 (6), ecclesiae ordinationem (ed. Vogels, 3:100). 97 Souter has two relevant works: Alexander Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster; idem, Earliest Latin Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul (Oxford: Clarendon, 1927), 39–95. 98  Cf. interdicens, ll.  42–43. Souter writes: “The present participle dicens is very common generally in the nominative or ablative case” (Study of Ambrosiaster, 64). The manner in which citations are introduced in MF ll. 29–31 is reflected in the citation of 1 John 1:1–4 as short quotation and as paraphrase (Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 41). Cf. Souter, Earliest Latin Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul, 62. 99  Synonymous adverbs or adjectives where one might be regarded as sufficient (Study of Ambrosiaster, 65–68). Concerning the relationship to Victorinus’s style, Souter notes, “Victorinus affects the doubling of verbs more than nouns, adjectives, and adverbs while it is quite the other way around with Ambrosiaster” (Earliest Latin Commentaries on the Epistles of St. Paul, 85).

B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts Word/Phrase

MF l. #


in humilitate despectus in potestate regali praeclaro tam constanter condiscipulis et episcopis suis loco … causa schismae haereses de quibus singulis [non] necesse est sedente cathedra

24 25 27 10 40 42 46–47 75

non solum … sed et verum est conieiunate ex causa directae credo ecclesiasticae disciplinae

32106 54, 59107 11 40 18–19 62–63

sanctificatae honorifico in carne mirabilia quid mirum? sub uno

61–62 61, 70 7 33 26–27 35

synonymous adverbs, adjectives100 synonymous adverbs, adjectives101 common expression102 similar pairs of nouns103 similar pairs of nouns similar pairs of nouns non deesse often as de non esse104 ablative absolute of personified abstract noun105 common phrase common phrase con- prefix, made-up word108 causa (abl.) + genitive singular noun109 substantival usage110 ecclesiasticus with same or similar substantives111 common expression112 related expression113 common expression114 common expression115 common expression116 common expression117


100  Study of Ambrosiaster, 65–68. Cf. also despecti in Ambrosiaster, Commentarius in Pauli epistulam ad Romanos (recensio gamma), prol. 4 (ed. Vogels, 1:5) 101 Study of Ambrosiaster, 65–68. 102 Cf. consto, cum constet, in Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 93–94. 103 Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 68 104  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 100; cf. idem, Earliest Latin Commentaries on the Epistles of St. Paul, 86. 105 “Very frequent with present participle of intransitive verb” (Study of Ambrosiaster, 69). The phrase “sitting on the seat” in MF. l. 75–76, has a parallel in Quaest. 110 on Ps 1 (CSEL 50:268–77), although the parallel is insignificant given the text of Ps 1. 106  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 73. 107  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 73. 108  With reference to the word, renascibilitas, M.-P. Bussières characterizes Ambrosiaster as not above creating Latin words (“Ambrosiaster’s Method of Interpretation in the Questions on the Old and New Testament,” in Interpreting the Bible and Aristotle in Late Antiquity, ed. Josef Lössl and John J. Watt [New York: Routledge, 2011], 49–66, here: 52 n. 23). Although Souter does not mention it, his list of Ambrosiaster’s distinctive expressions has a significant number of words (14) beginning with the prefix con-. Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 92–96. 109  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 85. 110  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 96. 111  Cf. Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 104; cf. 30–31, 176. Souter uses ecclesiasticam ordinationem (MF l. 62) with other evidence to authenticate Ambrosiaster’s Prologue to 2 Corinthians (“The Genuine Prologue to Ambrosiaster on Second Corinthians,” JTS 4 [1902]: 89–92, here: 91). 112 Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 104. 113 Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 109–10. 114 Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 125–26. 115  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 117. 116  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 119. 117  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 121.


Chapter Seven: A Star Rising in the Darkness


MF l. #


sub praesentia constitutus proficio

36 85

common constituents118 expression119 common expression120 with name in the dative121 with ad, expressing growth in a direction122

38 39

The three words Souter lists as present in contemporary authors but absent in Ambrosiaster are likewise absent in the Fragment: adpropio, subsano, and typhus.123 As Souter acknowledges, there is a subjective element in the evaluation of common words and phrases as they may simply result from the same rhetorical training. In his view, thus, particles are the best means of ascertaining common authorship. A comparison of particles between Ambrosiaster’s writings and the Fragment also generates correspondences of both nature and degree.124 In MF l.  32 the Fragmentist uses one of Ambrosiaster’s typical equivalents for “not only – but also”: non solum – sed et. In MF l. 16 ideo licet has the force of a reduplicated particle, rare in Latin but a feature of both the Commentaria and Quaestiones.125 In terms of particle frequency, Annelie Volgers demonstrates Ambrosiaster’s penchant for conjunctions and other linking words over their use by Jerome, Augustine, and Eucherius in their quaestiones-literature. By means of highlighting, she charts Ambrosiaster’s usage.126 The following chart demonstrates the Fragment’s similar propensity for such inferential conjunctions. Table 2. Fragment with Structural Conjunctions Highlighted quibus tamen interfuit et ita posuit. Tertium evangelii librum secundum Lucan Lucas iste medicus post ascensum Christi, cum eum Paulus quasi ut iuris studiosum 5 secundum adsumsisset, nomine suo ex opinione conscripsit; dominum tamen nec ipse vidit in carne, et ideo prout assequi potuit

fol. 10r

118  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 121, 127. Souter does not offer this precise formula, only its constituents. 119  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 125. Souter points out that this expression is common in Cyprian. 120  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 129–31; idem, “The Genuine Prologue to Ambrosiaster on Second Corinthians,” 91. 121 Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 130–31. 122  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 129–30. 123 Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 148. 124  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 63, citing Eduard Wölfflin, Archiv für lateinische Lexikographie 11 (1900): 577–78. 125 Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 72. 126  Volgers, “Ambrosiaster: Persuasive Powers in Progress,” 105 and charts, 113–25.


B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts

ita et a nativitate Iohannis incipit dicere. Quartum evangeliorum Iohannis ex discipulis 10 cohortantibus condiscipulis et episcopis suis dixit: conieiunate mihi hodie triduo et quid cuique fuerit revelatum, alterutrum nobis enarremus. eadem nocte reve latum Andreae ex apostolis ut, recognos15 centibus cunctis, Iohannes suo nomine cuncta describeret. et ideo licet varia sin gulis evangeliorum libris principia doceantur, nihil tamen differt creden tium fidei, cum uno ac principali spiritu de20 clarata sint in omnibus omnia: de nativi tate, de passione, de resurrectione, de conversatione cum discipulis suis, ac de gemino eius adventu primo in humilitate despectus, quod fu25 it, secundo potestate regali prae claro, quod futurum est. quid ergo mirum, si Iohannes tam constanter singula etiam in epistulis suis proferat dicens in semetipsum, quae vidimus oculis 30 nostris et auribus audivimus et manus nostrae palpaverunt, haec scripsimus. sic enim non solum visorem, sed et auditorem, sed et scriptorem omnium mirabilium domini per ordi nem profitetur. Acta autem omnium apostolorum 35 sub uno libro scripta sunt. Lucas optimo Theophi lo comprehendit quia sub praesentia eius singula gerebantur sicuti et semota passione Petri evidenter declarat sed et profectione Pauli ab ur be ad Spaniam proficiscentis. Epistulae autem 40 Pauli, quae a quo loco vel qua ex causa directae sint, volentibus intellegere ipsae declarant: primum omnium Corinthiis schismae haereses in terdicens, deinceps B Galatis circumcisionem, Romanis autem ordinem scripturarum sed et 45 principium earum esse Christum intimans prolixius scripsit. de quibus singulis neces se est a nobis disputari cum ipse beatus apostolus Paulus sequens prodecessoris sui Iohannis ordinem nonnisi nominatim septem 50 ecclesiis scribat ordine tali: ad Corinthios prima, ad Ephesios secunda, ad Philippenses ter tia, ad Colossenses quarta, ad Galatas quin ta, ad Thessaolonicenses sexta, ad Romanos septima. verum Corinthiis et Thessalonicen55 sibus licet pro correptione iteretur, una

f. 10v


Chapter Seven: A Star Rising in the Darkness

tamen per omnem orbem terrae ecclesia diffusa esse dinoscitur. et Iohannes enim in A pocalypsi licet septem ecclesiis scribat, tamen omnibus dicit. verum ad Philemonem unam 60 et ad Titum unam et ad Timotheum duas pro affec tu et dilectione. in honorem tamen ecclesiae ca tholicae in ordinationem ecclesiasticae disciplinae sanctificatae sunt. fertur etiam ad Laodicenses, alia ad Alexandrinos, Pauli no65 mine finctae ad haeresem Marcionis et alia plu ra, quae in catholicam ecclesiam recipi non potest: fel enim cum melle misceri non con gruit. epistula sane Iudae et superscriptae Iohannis duae in catholica habentur et Sapi70 entia ab amicis Salomonis in honorem ipsius scripta. apocalypses etiam Iohannis et Pe tri tantum recipimus, quamquam quidam ex nos tris legi in ecclesia nolunt. Pastorem vero nuperrime temporibus nostris in urbe 75 Roma Hermas conscripsit, sedente cathe dra urbis Romae ecclesiae Pio episcopo fratre eius, et ideo legi eum quidem oportet se pu blicare vero in ecclesia populo, neque inter prophetas completo numero neque inter 80 apostolos in fine temporum potest. Arsinoi autem seu Valentini vel Miltiadis nihil in totum recipimus, qui etiam novum Psalmorum librum Marcioni conscripse runt una cum Basilide Asiano Cataphry85 gum constitutorem.

f. 11r

According to Volgers, the high frequency of conjunctions implies nuances in their individual meanings. She writes: enim is normally used to ask for empathy (‘don’t you agree that …’ or ‘you certainly know that …’), nam to give a further explanation (‘with this I mean exactly …’) and quia is used when one wants to give an objective causal explanation.127

This usage is observable in MF ll. 32, 57, 67 (enim) and in l. 36 if one reads quia (not quae). The conversational aspect Volgers detects in Ambrosiaster’s writing is also present in the Fragment, especially in ll. 26–27 (e. g., qui ergo mirum). In addition to particles, another convincing sign of common authorship is the spelling and declension of Hebrew or Hebraeo-Greek names. According to Souter, a “striking” example connecting authorship of the Quaestiones to Ambro-

 Volgers, “Ambrosiaster: Persuasive Powers in Progress,” 105.


B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts


siaster’s Commentaria is the spelling of the name, “Moyses.”128 This spelling of “Moses” occurs in l. 42 of the second non-parallel segment of the BPs (BP #2). 40   Triplex igitur He braeorum esse dinoscitur lingua. Heber unde Hebrei dicti sunt. Hanc linguam Moyses a domino legem accepit et tradidit, nam et Chaldeorum est alia, quam imperiti Iudaei vel Syri hebraeam fingunt, et ideo in multis 45 male interpretes apud illos dissonant multa, apud nos autem auctor est beatus apostolus Paulus dicens, se Hebraeum ex Hebraeis, hoc est, de tribu Beniamin.

This passage shares other linguistic features with Ambrosiaster, including the use of dicens to set up a biblical quotation (l. 46, Phil 3:5),129 pairs of synonymous words (in this case, verbs and nouns, not adverbs and adjectives),130 and the choice and frequency of conjunctions (highlighted above).131 The negative adjective (imperitus) too resembles Ambrosiaster’s style.132 This passage resembles Ambrosiaster’s interest in the origin of the word Hebrew by presenting the argument that the Hebrew language derives from “Heber,” traced back in Jewish history to Abraham and Moses (Quaest. 108).133 Similarities between this BP passage and the writings of Ambrosiaster support an association between the MF and Ambrosiaster.134 In addition, as we have seen, MF ll.  73–80  – the only section without any ancient parallels and thus most likely to reveal the voice of the anonymous author – go out of their way to depict the Shepherd as not apostolic: it is a product of “our time” or “circumstances,” not to “come before the people in the church among the prophets or apostles.” During the fourth and fifth centuries the Shepherd is known for prohibiting a man from remarrying after divorcing  The spelling may have been more common than Souter realized. Study of Ambrosiaster, 64. Mosaicarum et Romanarum legum collatio also uses Moyses. 130  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 68. 131  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 154, 181. 132  Volgers, “Ambrosiaster: Persuasive Powers in Progress,” 101–3. 133  Quaest. 108 (ed. Souter, 251–56). Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 154, 181; idem, Earliest Latin Commentaries on the Epistles of St. Paul, 74. According to Denecker (“Heber or Habraham?”), Ambrosiaster  – first and uniquely  – traces the origin of the Hebrew language to Abraham (Quaest. 108 and Comm., Phil. 3:7). Augustine responds  – the position which ultimately won the day  – by tracing it to Heber (Gen 10:21). BP #2 (ll. 45–47) rejects three options: Heber, Moses, and Chaldean (Ambrosiaster denounces all three options in Quaest. 108 and Comm., Phil. 3:7), embracing a fourth, which appears to reflect Ambrosiaster’s ‘Abraham position’ based on Phil 3:5, read in light of Rom 11:1 (ἐκ σπέρματος Ἀβραάμ, φυλῆς Βενιαμίν): God restored the Edenic language to Abraham who passed it to his children, including Paul and (thus) to all Christians. See Jacobs, “A Jew’s Jew,” 266. 134  The oldest copy of Ambrosiaster’s Commentaria is located at Montecassino: MC 150, which Donatus corrected at Castello Lucullano, Naples, before 570 ce. See Newton, Scriptorium and Library, 251 and plate 116 (= CLA 3:374a). 128

129 Souter,


Chapter Seven: A Star Rising in the Darkness

his wife for adultery (Herm. Mand. 4.29). After Augustine, the position became more or less mainstream. Prior to Augustine, however, this position is unattested apart from the Shepherd. Ambrosiaster rejected this position, rather arguing (in harmony with not just his biblical interpretation of the nature of the sexes but with contemporary Roman law) that men (although not women) may remarry after divorcing a wife for adultery.135 The MF’s position on the Shepherd may, thus, also point to Ambrosiaster.136 Finally, the fourth-century Mosaicarum et Romanarum legum collatio, a comparison of Mosiac and Roman law attributed by Souter and others to Ambrosiaster, rails against the Manicheans.137 Mosaicarum et Romanarum legum collatio 15.3.4 uses the rare superlative nuperrime pejoratively to reject them.138 Authentication of the Collatio lays far outside the scope of this work, but it may 135 David Hunter writes, “With the exception of a passage from the Shepherd of Hermas, composed at Rome early in the second century, there is no text from the first four centuries that clearly and unequivocally prohibited a man from remarrying after divorcing his first wife for adultery” (“Did the Early Church Absolutely Forbid Remarriage after Divorce?” Vergentis 6 [2018]: 45–64, here: 59); also, idem, “Clerical Celibacy and the Veiling of Virgins: New Boundaries in Late Ancient Christianity,” in The Limits of Ancient Christianity: Essays on Late Antique Thought and Culture in Honor of R. A. Markus, ed. William E. Klingshirn and Mark Vessy (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 139–52; idem, Marriage, Celibacy and Heresy in Ancient Christianity: The Jovinianist Controversy, OECS (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007); idem, “On the Sin of Adam and Eve: A Little-Known Defense of Marriage and Childbearing by Ambrosiaster,” HTR 82 (1989): 283–99; idem, “The Paradise of Patriarchy: Ambrosiaster on Woman as (Not) God’s Image,” JTS 43 (1992): 447–69. 136  We also note that Ambrosiaster’s rival Jerome accepts the Shepherd. 137  Earliest Latin Commentaries on the Epistles of St. Paul, 41, 69. 138  Moses Hyamson, ed. and trans., Mosaicarum et Romanarum legum collatio (London: H. Frowde, Oxford University Press, 1913), 130–31 (cf. 44): “As regards the Manichaeans, concerning whom you have reported to us, who, in opposition to the older creeds, set up new and unheard-of sects, purposing in their wickedness, to cast out the doctrines vouchsafed to us by Divine favour in olden times, we have heard that they have, but recently (nuperrime) advanced or sprung forth, like strange and monstrous portents, from their native homes among the Persians – a nation hostile to us – and have settled in this part of the world, where they are perpetrating many evil deeds, disturbing the tranquility of the peoples and causing the gravest injuries to the commonalities; and there is danger that, in process of time, they will endeavor, as in their usual practice, to infect the innocent, orderly and tranquil Roman people, as well as the whole of our empire, with the damnable customs and perverse laws of the Persians as with the poison of a malignant serpent” (Mosaicarum et Romanarum legum collatio, 15.3.3–5) This text commences discussion of the Manicheans at 15.1.1, a section entitled De Mathematicis, Maleficis, et Manichaeis (ed. Hyamson, 126–32). Prout (“according to”) occurring once in MF l. 7, occurs four times in Quaest.: (1) 88:1 (ed. Souter, 148); (2) 97:19 (ed. Souter, 184–85 [3 times in a discussion of 1 Cor 12]). It occurs once in Mosaicarum et Romanarum legum collatio 16.3.17 (ed. Hyamson, 144). Important literature on this text includes R. M. Frakes, Compiling the “Collatio legum Mosaicarum et Romanarum” in Late Antiquity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011); A. S. Jacobs, “‘Papinian commands one thing, our Paul another’: Roman Christians and Jewish law in the Collatio legum Mosaicarum et Romanarum,” in Religion and Law in Classical and Christian Rome, ed. Clifford Ando and Jörg Rüpke, Potsdamer altertumswissenschaftliche Beiträge 15 (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2006), 85–99; Theodor Mommsen, “Mosaicarum et Romanarum legum Collatio,” in Collectio Librorum Iuris Anteiustiniani, ed. P. Krüger (Berlin:

B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts


be noteworthy that the MF l. 74 might employ nuperrime pejoratively – “new” in the sense of upstart – in the context of acceptable Christian teaching and texts.139 In sum, Ambrosiaster and the Fragmentist reflect a wide range of common stylistic elements and motifs. With those specified above, additional similarities include (items of unequal weight in no particular order) a penchant for legal terminology (esp. iuris studiosum, l. 4),140 coordination of Pauline and Johannine material,141 emphasis on the reliability of the Fourth Gospel,142 exclusion of Hebrews from Paul’s letters,143 qualified recommendation of the Shepherd (i. e., Ambrosiaster’s explicit position is based on anti-Novatianist views),144 affinity for Revelation (and demonstrating a relationship to Victorinus of Pettau) and the Johannine literature in general – including what may be a version of the Johannine legend,145 acknowledging Andrew as apostle,146 associating miracles with Weidmann, 1890), 3:107–98. Cf. Ambrosiaster, Comm. 2 Tim 3:6–7 (ed. Vogels, 3:312, citing Diocletian against the Manicheans). 139 Heinrich Stephan Sedlmayer argues for Ambrosiastrian authorship of a tractate against the Arians discovered in a manuscript containing Hilary’s De Trinitate. This tractate has some verbal similarities to the MF (e. g., dinosco, intellego, solus) besides MF ll. 23–26: ac de gemino eius adventu primo in humilitate despectus, quod fuit, secundo potestate regali praeclaro. Cf. CA fol. 100v (ed. Sedlmayer, p. 14, l.  33–p. 15, l.  1: potestatis scilicet et humilitatis; potestatis, cum singuli aut imperatores aut summi iudices (“Der Tractatus contra Arianos in der Wiener Hilarius-Handschrift mit einem Nachwort von Dom Germain Morin,” Sitzungsberichte der Kais. Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, Phil.-Hist. Kl. 146 [1903]: 1–21). 140 De Bruyn, “A Note on the Translation,” in idem, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, cxxix. Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 27–28. Although the Fragment lacks Ambrosiaster’s specific legal phrases, the text is rife with the constituents of these phrases: e. g., accusationem recipere is not in the Fragment, but recipo is common (ll. 66, 72, 82); reum constituere is absent, but constitutore is present (l. 85); causam dicere does not occur although compare: ex causa (l. 40) (Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 178). See also Lunn-Rockliffe, Ambrosiaster’s Political Theology, 50–57; David G. Hunter, “Ambrosiaster,” in Great Christian Jurists and Legal Collections in the First Millennium, ed. Philip L. Reynolds, Law and Christianity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), 252–65. On iuris studiosus (l. 4) as a technical term for a legal expert acting on behalf of a Roman official, provincial governor, etc. (Dig. Just. 1.22.1), see Ehrhardt, Framework of the New Testament Stories, 17–18. 141  MF ll. 48–59; Quaest. 122.20–21 (ed. Souter, 371–72); cf. Quaest. 97, 125. De Bruyn, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, lxxxiv. 142 Quaest. 91.10 (ed. Souter, 151–60). 143  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 14, 171; idem, The Earliest Latin Commentaries on the Epistles of St. Paul (Oxford: Clarendon, 1929), 53. Alcuin of York wrote the commentary on Hebrews in some manuscripts of Ambrosiaster’s Pauline commentaries (see Eduard Riggenbach, Die ältesten lateinischen Kommentare zum Hebräerbrief [Leipzig: Deichert, 1907], 18–40). 144  Herm. Mand. 4.3.1–7; cf. Heb 6:4–6; 10:26–31. 145  Quaest. 72 (PL 35:2266–67, here: 2267): Quantum ergo ad veri pertinet rationem, post exsilium Evangelium scripsisse probatur. In exsilio enim positus in insula Pathmos, in quam, fuerat a Domitiano imperatore relegatus, vidit revelationem, sicut dicit, in die dominico: post, sicut dixi, scripsit Evangelium, quod haereticis amarum est, quos in ventre significavit (“Now as far as this keeps to the account of truth, it is demonstrated that after his exile, he [John] wrote the gospel. Living in exile on the island of Patmos to which he had been sent by the Emperor Domitian, he saw a revelation, as he says, on the Lord’s day. Afterward, just as he said, he wrote the gospel, which is bitterness to the heretics whom he signified by ‘in the stomach’”). Souter, Study of


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the apostles (ll. 33–34),147 linking the earliest church with his own time (noted above),148 valorization of the Holy Spirit as consubstantial (MF l. 20),149 interest in prologue materials,150 interest in Alexandria (MF l. 64),151 denotation of geographical locations, in particular Spain,152 writing from Rome,153 emphasis on the Roman church as universal,154 seven churches of Revelation 2–3 as representative of a single church (Quaest. 47; ed. Souter, 90–94)), numerology, especially the importance of the number seven (Quaest. 7, 9, 47, 87, 95), controlling book production,155 and anonymity (which was uncommon).156 And I would be remiss Ambrosiaster, 208; De Bruyn, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, cxii–cxiii. On 1 John 3:2, Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 152 and on Ambrosiaster’s reliance on Victorinus, 208. On Ambrosiaster’s promotion of fasting, see Quaest. 120; Lunn-Rockliffe, Ambrosiaster’s Political Theology, 80. 146  Comm. 2 Cor 12:11. Ambrosiaster regards John, the apostle, not John, the disciple and son of Zebedee, as author of 1 John (Quaest. 115). See Ehrhardt, Framework of the New Testament Stories, 14, 18–25. 147  On the miracles, see Bussières, “Ambrosiaster’s Method of Interpretation in the Questions on the Old and New Testament,” 49–66. 148 Ambrosiaster, Comm. Eph. 4:11–12. Lunn-Rockliffe describes this interest as follows: “Ambrosiaster had a subtle sense of the historical development of the church, but was also keen to link distant dispensations. He did this in two major ways, linking the church of the New Testament with his own time, finding the origins of contemporary institutions in apostolic times, and also applying vocabulary and exempla from the Old Testament to the contemporary church” (Ambrosiaster’s Political Theology, 109). 149  MF l.  19–20. Stephen A. Cooper, “Ambrosiaster’s Theology,” lxxvii–xcvi, here: lxxxiv– lxxxvi, in De Bruyn, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans. Bussières argues that revisions Ambrosiaster made to Quaest. 97 in the recension including 127 questions, demonstrate implementation of recent conciliar emphasis on the spirit’s role in the Trinity (“L’esprit de Dieu et l’Esprit Saint dans les Questions sur l’Ancient et le Nouveau Testament de l’Ambrosiaster,” REAug 56 [2010]: 25–44). 150 Dahl, “Origin of the Earliest Prologues to Pauline Letters,” 237. 151 See Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 37–38, 170–71; Lunn-Rockliffe, Ambrosiaster’s Political Theology, 50. 152 For indications that Ambrosiaster had traveled, see Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 179–80. On a possible association with Spain, see Earliest Latin Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul, 43–44. 153  MF ll. 38–39. Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 165–66; Martini, Ambrosiaster, 15; Lunn-Rockliffe, Ambrosiaster’s Political Theology, 14–16. See discussion on MF ll. 74–76 in Chapter 6 above. 154  MF. ll.  55–57. Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 166. See Lunn-Rockliffe, Ambrosiaster’s Political Theology, 125. These lines in the Fragment may biblicize Stoic ideas, an Ambrosiastrian theme that Lunn-Rockliffe identifies (176). 155  De Bruyn, Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles: Romans, 103–4; cf. 224–25. Vogels, “Ambrosiaster und Hieronymus,” RBén 66 (1956): 14–19. This interest on the part of the Fragmentist is clear from the concentration of topic-related vocabulary: recipio (3), publico (1), conscribo (3), lego (2), and liber (4). 156 See Lunn-Rockliffe, Ambrosiaster’s Political Theology, 26–32; Hunter, “Significance of Ambrosiaster,” 6–7, citing Souter, Earliest Latin Commentaries, 40. Anonymity is likely original (Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 163; Hunter, “Significance of Ambrosiaster,” 6). Presence of the Johannine Comma in the Muratorian Codex and the semi-Pelagian aspect of the Sermo de Abr. might also commend a relationship to Ambrosiaster.

B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts


not to conclude by acknowledging that Ambrosiaster and the Fragmentist also compete for the number of modern attempts to discern their identity.157 While the number of correspondences may be telling, many of these shared traits are common to late antique writings in general. Furthermore, Ambrosiaster’s writings also possess clear differences from the Fragment. For example, Ambrosiaster’s Latin is in no way as inelegant as reconstructions of the Fragment. The books each regards as canonical, as well as the order of the Four Gospels and Pauline epistles, do not match.158 In addition, the titles Ambrosiaster uses to refer to the gospels and Acts (Cata Markan, Acta Apostolorum) differ from those in the Fragment (e. g., secundum Lukan [MF l.  2], Acta omnium apostolorum [MF l. 34]).159 It is possible that such discrepancies simply attest alternate ver157  For Ambrosiaster, controlling book production takes the form of rejecting (or at least resisting) Jerome’s project, insisting rather on the superiority of the Latin tradition. See M. Mara, “Ambrosiaster,” in Patrology. The Golden Age of Latin Patristic Literature from the Council of Nicea to the Council of Chalcedon, ed. A. di Berardino, trans. P. Solari (Westminster, MD: Christian Classics, 1986–1988), 181–82; O. Heggelbacher, “Beziehungen zwischen Ambrosiaster und Maximus von Turin?” FZPhTh 41 (1994): 5–44 and response: A. Merkt, “Wer was der Ambrosiaster?” WissWeis 59 (1996): 19–33. About Ambrosiaster’s identity, Souter writes: “I can heartily support Dom Morin’s second suggestion, that Hilary, the Layman, was the author” (Study of Ambrosiaster, 4–5, 183–84). However, in his article, “The Identity of Ambrosiaster: A Fresh Suggestion,” The Expositor 7 (1914): 224–32, Souter lends support (“Morin has furnished us with a powerful argument in favour of …”) to Morin’s third hypothesis that Ambroasiaster should be identified as Evagrius of Antioch (232). 158  However, the unusual order of the Pastoral Epistles (Tit, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy) does match. Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 197. Reference to these letters as “for the ordering of ecclesiastical discipline” (MF ll. 62–63) echoes Tertullian, Marc. 5.21. The prevailing order of Paul’s letters in manuscripts of Ambrosiaster is as follows: Rom, 1 Cor, 2 Cor, Gal, Eph, Phil, 1 Thess, 2 Thess, Col, Tit, 1 Tim, 2 Tim, Phlm, yet Souter advises against assuming this was the order in Ambrosiaster’s version of Paul’s letters (Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 196–97). One might say that the canon limits of Ambrosiaster and the Fragment agree in degree of aberration from the norm. Against Zahn who argues that Ambrosiaster does not cite 2 Peter, James, Jude, and 3 John (Grundriss der Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons, 2nd ed. [Leipzig: Deichert, 1904], 69), Souter argues that all but Jude are cited (196–97). Annelie Volgers questions some of Souter’s claims about literary reliance on pagan authors (“A Church in Search of Answers: A Study of the Latin Quaestiones-tradition,” [PhD diss., University of Utrecht, 2005], 72–73; cf. eadem, “Persuasive Powers in Progress,” in Erotapokriseis: Early Christian Question-and-Answer Literature in Context: Proceedings of the Utrecht Colloquium, 13–14 Oct. 2003, ed. Annelie Volgers and Claudio Zamagni [Leuven: Peeters, 2004], 99–126). On Ambrosiaster’s habit of revising his work, see Stephen A. Cooper and David G. Hunter, “Ambrosiaster redactor sui: The Commentaries on the Pauline Epistles (excluding Romans),” Revue d’études augustiniennes et patristiques 56 (2010): 69–91. Two recensions of the commentaries on Corinthians and the minor epistles were distinguished by H. J. Vogels in Ambrosiastri qui dicitur commentarius in epistulas paulinas, 1:xlii–li. Also important to this discussion is M.-P. Bussières, “L’influence du synode tenu à Rome en 382 sur l’exégèse de l’Ambrosiaster,” Sacris Erudiri 45 (2006): 107–24. The order of the Pauline Epistles cuts against the theory of Victorinan authorship (ed. Gryson, 124, 126 ll. 104–6; ed. Haussleiter, 28, ll. 8–10). 159  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 171. The title of Acts is also different in Ambrosiaster and the Fragment but might reflect Ambrosiaster’s anti-Manichean Tendenz. See the discussion in Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, 193–94.


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sions of Ambrosiaster’s known views. Among late antique writers, Ambrosiaster is renowned for modifying and republishing his positions.160 This proclivity may explain his anonymity. Different book order and book titles could also reflect a later copyist’s desire to bring his writings into harmony with the Vulgate.161 Were all of this to be the case, the Fragment’s missing texts would still require an explanation. Ambrosiaster does not cite Jude in his commentaries and the Quaestiones, but the Fragmentist includes it (l. 68). In fact, Ambrosiaster cites all NT texts except Jude; the Fragmentist excludes Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and probably one Johannine letter. As noted above, in BP #2, the writer specifies that numerous disagreements leading to misunderstanding occur in texts written in Hebrew and related languages (ll. 44–45). The passage appears to contrast this circumstance with Paul’s writings, where – because they are written in Greek? – disagreement and misunderstanding would presumably be rare. If we accept BP #2 as a lost segment of the Fragment, its interest in language – the Hebrew language specifically – could suggest that the Fragment is not a canon list, but a list of NT texts regarded as in some way linguistically superior. Perhaps the texts “received” are writings originally recorded in Greek, and (different from “Hebrew” originals) less likely to be misunderstood (cf. BP #2 ll. 43–44). Convictions about the importance of “Hebrew” originals of biblical texts is an interest of late fourth- and early fifth-century Christian writers. Jerome, in particular, promoted the importance of knowing the original languages  – building on precedent (e. g., Papias – Matthew, Mark’s source, Clement of Alexandria – Hebrews) when he argues for a “Hebrew” original of Matthew.162 In Vir. ill. 5, he claims that Paul, being a Hebrew, wrote in Hebrew.163 Although I know of no such argument, it is not difficult to imagine Jerome’s testimony about Matthew, extending to the authorship of 1, 2 Peter and Jesus’s “brothers” (James), thus distancing these texts from “purer” Greek ones.164 Ambrosiaster’s bias for the Latin New Testament – the reliability of its texts based on (presumed) access 160  E. g., Giuseppe Carlo Martini, “Le recensioni delle Quaestiones Veteris et Novi Testamenti dell’Ambrosiaster,” 40–62; Bussières, “Ambrosiaster’s Method of Interpretation in the Questions on the Old and New Testament,” 49–66. 161  Souter, Study of Ambrosiaster, 171. 162  Clement of Alexandria argues that Paul originally wrote the letter to the Hebrews in Hebrew (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6.14.2–3, citing Clement’s Hypotyposes). Jerome appears to share Papias’s view about Matthew (Vir. ill. 3) and refers to another gospel he knows as originally in Hebrew (Vir. ill. 2). 163  One wonders if this unsubstantiated view was not a plug for Jerome’s project. Jerome wrote a letter to Chromatius and Heliodorus (used as the preface to the Latin translation of Tobit, Praef. Tob.) in which he argues for a “Chaldean” original of the Book of Tobit and specifies that the Jews exclude it from their holy scriptures. See Edmon L. Gallagher, “Why did Jerome Translate Tobit and Judith?” HTR 108 (2015): 356–75. 164  Some interpret Διὰ Σιλουανοῦ (1 Pet 5:12) as claiming Silvanus’s authorship of 1 Peter. To explain the distinctive qualities of 1 and 2 Peter, Jerome believes that Peter used interpretes. He does not mention Silvanus (1 Pet 5:12; Ep. 120.11; NPNF2 6:224).

B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts


to the best Greek manuscripts by church fathers, such as Tertullian, and his program against Jerome – might explain some of the anomalies.165 Situated in this historical-literary context, the Fragment might never have included discussions of Matthew and Mark. Rather it would be “guaranteeing” or “securing” (recipio) the Gospel of Luke, Acts, the Johannine literature, and Paul’s letters as a special class of text.166 The Johannine legend would support John’s place in this group. The Wisdom of Solomon and the Shepherd of Hermas would provide additional examples. Inclusion of Jude and the Apocalypse of Peter can be explained on this theory, only if the Fragmentist acknowledged each as in Greek originally.167 In sum, the MF may not represent a complete canon list at all but a list of canonical works qualified on some other basis. The linguistic evidence, while circumstantial, could point to Ambrosiaster as author of the Muratorian Fragment as well as the BP (BP #1, #2) excerpts. Parallels with Chromatius, Tract. Matt. could suggest that Lemarié and Kaestli correctly identified Chromatius as directly reliant on the Fragment, although as contemporaries, reliance may also go in the opposite direction. The comparative data supplied here is merely suggestive but an exhaustive comparison of the MF and Ambrosiaster’s corpus might one day shed new light on the Fragment’s origin and purpose.

Excursus: Evagrius of Antioch On the basis of numerous parallels with the Latin translation of Athanasius, Vita Antonii,168 Dom Morin proposed169 and Alexander Souter endorsed170 the identification of Ambrosiaster as Evagrius of Antioch. In view of a possible link between Ambrosiaster and the MF, the following observations may be added. Evagrius was a friend of Jerome – for a time,

165  New work on canon studies by C. Rebecca Rine commend the possibilities discussed in this section; see “Canon Lists Are Not Just Lists,” JBL 139 (2020): 809–31. 166  Recipio in the Fragment (ll. 66, 72, 82) may have the force of “guaranteeing, securing” as opposed to “receiving, accepting” based on their perceived need of translation. Lewis and Short, s. v., recipio. 167  Ambrosiaster is known to have accepted another apocryphal work, the Acts of Paul (Comm. 2 Tim 1:15, 4:14). A nuanced version of the above position would hold that the comments about the Apocalypses of John and Peter (“some among us do not want [them] to be read in church,” ll. 72–73) and the Shepherd (“it indeed ought to be read, but it cannot come before the people in the church either among the prophets, complete in number, or among the apostles, limited to a [fixed] period of time” 77–80) suggest it is not the (imagined) original language of biblical texts which prompted the MF, but the Fragmentist’s assessment of the quality of the available Latin text. On the Shepherd in Latin, see Tornau and Cecconi, Shepherd of Hermas in Latin, 7–12. 168  PL 73:125–70. 169  “Qui est l’Ambrosiaster? Solution nouvelle,” RBén 31 (1914–1919): 1–34. 170  “Identity of the ‘Ambrosiaster’: A Fresh Suggestion,” 232.


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his patron.171 Jerome mentions Evagrius in Vir ill. 125 after Ambrose of Milan and before Ambrose of Alexandria as “bishop of Antioch” and describes his mind as “remarkably sharp” (acris ac ferventis ingenii). Jerome also says that Evagrius shared his own unpublished treatises with him and credits him with the translation of Athanasius’s Vita Antonii.172 When Jerome writes Vita Pauli, an allusion to the Vita Antonii in the first lines tacitly acknowledges his model.173 Dedicated to Innocentius, Athanasius composed the Vita Antonii for political purposes.174 Evagrius’s Latin translation mutatis mutandis may have had a similar aim (e. g., he famously mitigates the text’s ascetic rigor). Jerome dedicates his Epistula Prima to the same Innocentius. At the end of the Epistula Prima, Jerome offers a panegyric to Evagrius as successful defender of a woman from Vercelli falsely accused of adultery and facing a secular trial.175 Evagrius’s position defending the woman could correspond to Ambrosiaster’s distinctively forgiving position on marriage following divorce. His position was that men should be able to remarry following divorce, but the general skepticism he throws upon adultery resonates.176 Were Ambrosiaster-Evagrius the Fragmentist, this position on marriage could explain the MF’s limited acceptance of the Shepherd of Hermas insofar as this text, as discussed above, is the only one from the first four centuries that clearly and unequivocally prohibits a man from remarrying after divorcing a wife for adultery. Verbal similarities between the MF and Evagrius’s Latin translation of Athanasius’s Vita Antonii include Christi principium est (ch. 79; MF l. 45) and ordinem Scripturarum (92; MF l. 44). The first phrase appears in ch. 79 (1137–38): Floret martyrum pro Domino suo gloriosa constantia, quorum omnium crux Christi principium est. The phrase appears in almost the identical formulation in Ambrose’s protracted discussion of Christ as principium in De fide 3.6–7: Et ideo ut haec virtutum genera disceremus: Filius datus est nobis, cuius principium super humeros eius (Isa 9:6). Principium illud crux Domini est; principium fortitudinis, quo via sanctis est reserata martyribus ad sacri certaminis passionem (De fide 3.7.53).177 Immediately before this passage in chapter 6, Ambrose opposes 171  Stefan Rebenich, Hieronymus und sein Kreis. Prosopographische und sozialgeschichtliche Untersuchungen (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1992), 52–75. On Evagrius’s chronology vis-à-vis Jerome, see L. W. Barnard, “The Date of S. Athanasius, ‘Vita Antonii,’” VC 28 (1974): 169–75. 172 It was probably written between 356 (death of Antony) and 374 (death of Innocentius to whom the translation is dedicated). 173  PL 23:17. When producing his translation, Evagrius knows a prior anonymous Latin translation of this text (also extant). If Evagrius is Ambrosiaster whose propensity for anonymity and rewriting is established, might this other Latin translation be his own prior attempt? 174  Sophie Cartwright, “Athanasius’ ‘Vita Antonii’ as Political Theology: The Call of Heavenly Citizenship,” JEH 67 (2016): 241–64. 175  Steff Coppieters, Danny Praet, Annelies Bossu and Maarten Taveirne, “Martyrdom, Literary Experiment and Church Politics in Jerome’s Epistula Prima, to Innocentius, on the septies percussa,” VC 68 (2014): 384–408. On Evagrius as political negotiator, see also Basil, Ep. 138.2. 176  See David G. Hunter “Did the Early Church Absolutely Forbid Remarriage after Divorce?”; idem, “Clerical Celibacy and the Veiling of Virgins: New Boundaries in late Ancient Christianity”; idem, Marriage, Celibacy and Heresy in Ancient Christianity: The Jovinianist Controversy; idem, “On the Sin of Adam and Eve: A Little-Known Defense of Marriage and Childbearing by Ambrosiaster”; idem, “The Paradise of Patriarchy: Ambrosiaster on Woman as (Not) God’s Image.” 177  The reference to Christ as principium appears multiple times in the Monarchian pro­ logues. In one occurrence in the prologue to John, the argument is about the placement of John’s gospel – after Matthew in this case – even though it was composed last (John Chapman, Notes

B. Hypothetical Historical Contexts


both Arians and Manicheans, suggesting an anti-heretical context for all three. Ambrose also uses the formulation ordinem Scripturarum (cf. Evagrius, Vita Antonii 92 [1347]). This phrase is less common than one would assume, also suggesting a literary relationship between Ambrose, Evagrius, and the MF. If Evagrius is correctly identified as Ambrosiaster, at a bare minimum such phrases explain the long-standing attribution of his works to Ambrose (“Ambrosiaster”). If Evagrius composed the MF, his dual Antioch-Aquileia (and Rome) loyalties could suggest that the Fragment pleads East-West cooperation on the New Testament canon. Texts received are those approved in both locales; texts omitted (i. e., Hebrews, James, 2, 3 John, 1, 2 Peter) raise objections  – at least to the author’s knowledge – in one city or the other.178 Although odd for a Syrian bishop to write in Latin, Morin argues179 and Souter tentatively accepts,180 that the translation of Athanasius into Latin reveals Evagrius as a keen Latinist – his Latin was even admired by Jerome. Morin also points out that his ecclesiastical formation was probably in the Latin church, not in the East, so he may have been disposed to thinking of Latin as the “official” church language.181 At the risk of compounding conjectures, Aquileian Lokalkolorit reflecting traditions reaching from Fortunatianus, Chromatius, Evagrius, Rufinus, Jerome, to Ambrose may be sufficiently specific.182

on the Early History of the Vulgate Gospels [Oxford: Clarendon, 1908], 219). This comment is reminiscent of the MF, where Christ as principium appears in the context of Romans, which is enumerated as last of seven letters (ll. 53–54) but is described in l. 44 as presenting Christ as the beginning (principium). We might also compare Pelagius’s prologues to the corpus Paulinum (Souter, Pelagius’s Expositions of Thirteen Epistles of St. Paul, 4) in which Romans, although written later than the other epistles, is placed first. On the prologue to Matthew, Chapman observes: “all the terms imply that Christ was being generated – He was IN all His own ancestors, in patribus, in Whom He worked from the beginning (operantis a principio)” (224); and his translation of a principio in the prologue to Luke as “from God” (230). Concerning parallels to the prologues in the writings of Priscillian, Chapman writes, “sine principio … according to Priscillian, the Son has no principium,” etc. (244 n. 2; cf. 245 n. 1). Further developing this idea in Priscillian, Chapman writes, “The incorruptibile principium is Christ, who is sine principio, but is the principium of all things,” also citing Priscillian, “si Christum omnium scimus esse principium” and “ filius est si principium quaeritur” (247). 178 In his comments on the Fragment, Muratori includes a remark by Jerome to Evagrius about Hebrews: “Because all Greeks receive [it], but only some Latins.” The text in question is probably Jerome, Ep. 73.4 to Evangelus where he comments in passing that the Epistle to Hebrews is accepted by all Greeks and a good number of Latins: Praeterea plenius esse tractatum in Epistola ad Hebraeos quam omnes Graeci recipiunt, et nonnulli Latinorum, quod … (“Besides, it is discussed more fully in the Epistle to the Hebrews, which all Greeks receive, and some of Latins [receive], that …”) (PL 22:678). Cf. also Jerome, Vir. ill. 59, on the Greeks versus Latins with regard to the Pauline authorship of Hebrews, and Vir. ill. 5 and 15 on the authorship of Hebrews. With gratitude to Michael Graves for assistance on this note. See Appendix E. 179  “Qui est l’Ambrosiaster?” 28–29. 180  “Identity of the ‘Ambrosiaster,’” 230. 181 “Qui est l’Ambrosiaster?” 28–29. 182 Apropos of Augustine’s attribution of Ambrosiaster, Comm. Rom. 5:12 to Hilary (C. du. Ep. Pelag. 4.4.7), Wittig once proposed that Hilarius (hilaris, “cheerful”) was the Latin translation of Isaac (“laughter”) (J. Wittig, “Der Ambrosiaster-Hilarius. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Papstes Damasus I,” Kirchengeschichtliche Abhandlung 4 (1906): 4–66, cited in Lunn-Rockliffe, Ambrosiaster’s Political Theology, 34 n. 4). LSJ defines εὔαγρος as “lucky in the chase” – matching Jerome’s impression of Evagrius’s political successes in Ep. 1.


Chapter Seven: A Star Rising in the Darkness

Concluding Remarks If this book puts us in possession of the essential facts for coming to a judgment, my hypothesis, driven by both the text and its context, is that the Muratorian Fragment is a layered writing redacted from several sources, primarily biblical prologues, in the late fourth century, in northern Italy, by Ambrosiaster or someone who knew his works. I would not insist that the redactor was Ambrosiaster himself. The chronological proximity of Ambrosiaster and Chromatius make it impossible to establish the direction of possible literary reliance. The Fragment may originally have been transmitted in a codex containing works by Ambrosiaster (“Ambrose”) that served as one of the exemplars of the Muratorian Codex, where some of its contents came to supplement letters by Eucherius and John Chrysostom. With its appeal to Pius, the so-called dating clause in the Fragment (ll. 73–80) reveals a motive to trace a list of universally-accepted Christian writings either to the earliest phase of a centralized Roman papacy effective against heresy or merely to the city of Rome.

Appendix A

Theories concerning the Authorship of the Muratorian Fragment Theorist

Proposed Author

Ludovico Antonio Muratori (1740) Johann Lorenz von Mosheim (1753)2 Eberhardus Henricus Daniel Stosch (1755)3 Simon Maria de Magistris (1772)4 Francis Freindaller (1803)5 Friedrich Gottlieb Zimmermann (1805)6 Martin Routh (1818)7 Heinrich W. J. Thiersch (1845)8 George Frederic Nott (1846)9 Karl Wieseler (1847)10 K. A. Credner (1847)11 1

Gaius of Rome Doubts Gaius of Rome Doubts Gaius of Rome Papias Gaius of Rome Fourth century Second century Muratori? Undeclared Last quarter of the second century End of the second century

 1  “De Literarum Statu, neglectu, & cultura in Italia post Barbaros in eam invectos usque ad Annum Christi Millesimum Centesimum,” in Antiquitates Italicae Medii Aevi, vol. 3 (Mediolani: Ex Typographia Societatis Palatinae, 1740; repr., Bologna: Arnaldo Forni Editore, 1965), 851–52.  2  Commentarii de rebus Christianorum ante Constantinum Magnum (Helmstaedt: Christianum Fridericum Weygand, 1753), 164.  3  Commentatio historico-critica de librorum Novi Testamenti Canone (Frankfurt Ioannis Christiani Kleub, 1755), 179–203.  4  Daniel secundum Septuaginta ex Tetraplis Origenis (Rome: Typis Propagandae Fidei, 1772), 467.  5  Caii Romani presbyteri uti videtur fragmentum acephalum de Canone divinorum novi foederis librorum Commentatio (Salzburg: [publisher unknown], 1803). For a full explanation of the complicated bibliographical data, see Tregelles, Canon Muratorianus, 14 n. “a.”  6 Fridericus Theophilus, Dissertatio historico-critica scriptoris incerti de canone librorum sacrorum fragmentum a Muratorio repertum exhibens (Jena: Göpferdt, 1805), 36.  7 Reliquiae Sacrae, ed. Martin J. Routh (Oxford: E Typographeo Academico, 11818), 4:2–37.  8  Versuch zur Herstellung des historischen Standpuncts für die Kritik der neutestamentlichen Schriften (Erlangen: Karl Heyder, 1845), 384–87.  9 Routh published Nott’s annotations posthumously in the second edition of his work: Reliquiae Sacrae, 2nd ed., ed. Routh (Oxford: E Typographeo Academico, 11818, 21846), 2.1:393– 434, here: 403. 10 K. Wieseler, Der Kanon des Neuen Testaments von Muratori, von neuem verglichen und im Zusammenhange erläutert (1847), 43. Cf. idem, “Der Kanon des Neuen Testaments von Muratori, von neuem verglichen und im Zusammenhange erläutert,” TSK 4 (1847): 815–57. 11  Zur Geschichte des Kanons (Halle: Verlag der Buchhandlung des Waisenhauses, 1847), 71–94.


Appendix A


Proposed Author

Martin Hertz (1847, 1854) Johann Leonhard Hug13 Paul Bötticher (Paul Anton de Lagarde) (1854)14 Christian Charles Josias von Bunsen (1854)15 Brooke Foss Westcott (1855)16 Gustav Volkmar17 James Donaldson (1864–66)18 Adolf Hilgenfeld (1875)19 Samuel Prideaux Tregelles (1867)20 Friedrich Hermann Hesse (1873)21 George Salmon (1877)22 Theodor Zahn (1886–1892)23 J. B. Lightfoot (1889)24 12

12 “Hegesippi

Hegesippus Third century N/A (Greek original) Hegesippus Undeclared 190–200 ce End of first half of third century Time of Irenaeus Doubts Gaius of Rome Second half (third quarter) of second century Gaius, Hippolytus or both (ca. 180) Greek original Hippolytus

Fragmentum Canonis,” in Bunsen, Analecta Ante-Nicaena, 3 vols. (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1854), 1:137–55. 13  Johann Leonhard Hug, Einleitung in die Schriften des Neuen Testaments, 2 vols., 4th ed. (Stuttgart: Cotta, 1847), 1:105 (§19). 14  Paul Bötticher aka Paul Anton de Lagarde, “Versuch einer Herstellung des Canon Muratorianus,” Zeitschrift für die gesammte lutherische Theologie und Kirche 10 (1854): 127– 29; in Christian J. Bunsen, Analecta Ante Nicaena, vol. 1: Reliquiae literariae, Christianity and Mankind 5 (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1854), 142–43. 15  Analecta Ante-Nicaena, 1:125. 16  A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament, 3rd ed. (Cambridge: Macmillan, 1870 [11855]; repr. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980). In 1865, Westcott copied the Ambrosian Fragments and added their evaluation in the subsequent version of General Survey of the History of the Canon, 536–40. 17 Gustav Volkmar, “Über eine neue Collation des Muratorischen Fragmentes,” Theolog. Literaturblatt (1859); idem, in Carl August Credner, Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanon, ed. G. Volkmar (Berlin: Georg Reimer, 1860). 18 James Donaldson, A Critical History of Christian Literature and Doctrine, from the Death of the Apostles to the Nicene Council, 3 vols. (London: Macmillan, 1864–66), 3:212. 19 A. Hilgenfeld, Historisch-kritische Einleitung in das Neue Testament (Leipzig: Fues, 1875), 89. 20  Canon Muratorianus: The Earliest Catalogue of the Books of the New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon, 1867); idem, “On a Passage in the Muratorian Canon,” Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology 2 (1855): 37–43; idem, The Historic Evidence of the Authorship and Transmission of the New Testament. 21  Das Muratorische Fragment (Giessen: J. Ricker, 1873), 51–56, here: 56. 22  “Muratorian Fragment,” DCB 3:1000–1, here: 1003; cf. 1002: episcopate of Zephyrinus. 23  Theodor Zahn, Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons, 2 vols. (Erlangen and Leipzig: A. Deichert [Georg Böhme], 1886–1892), 13; idem, “Miscellanea: II. Hippolytus, der Verfasser des Muratorischen Kanons,” NKZ 33 (1922): 417–36; = “Hippolytus, der Verfasser des muratorischen Kanons,” in Forschungen zur Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons und der altkirchlichen Literatur [Leipzig: Deichert, 1929], 10:58–75). 24 Joseph B. Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers: A Revised Text with Introduction, Notes, Dissertations, and Translations (London: MacMillan, 1885; repr. 1889); idem, “The Muratorian Fragment,” The Academy 36 (September 21, 1889): idem, Saint Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon: A Revised Text with Introductions, Notes, and Dissertations (London: Macmillan, 1892; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1880).

Theories concerning the Authorship of the Muratorian Fragment Theorist

Proposed Author

Gottfried Kühn (1892) Hans Achelis (1894)27 Hans Lietzmann (1902)28 John Chapman (1904)29 Theodore Henry Robinson (1906)30 Vernon Bartlet (1906)31 Edgar Simmons Buchanan (1907)32 Erwin Preuschen (1910)33 Carl Erbes (1914)34 Theodor Zahn (1922)35 Adolf von Harnack (1925) Marie-Joseph Lagrange (1933)36 Hans von Campenhausen (1968)37 Albert C. Sundberg, Jr. (1973)38 Everett Ferguson (1982)39 Bruce Metzger (1987)40 Philippe Henne (1990–1991)41 Geoffrey Mark Hahneman (1992)42 Charles E. Hill (1995)43 25

25 Das


Polycrates of Ephesus26 – – Clement of Alexandria Hippolytus Melito of Sardis Gallic collection – Rhodon Hippolytus Rhodon, Pope Victor I, or Zephyrinus Hippolytus Not Hippolytus Fourth-century Anonymous Second-century Anonymous Second-century Anonymous Second century Fourth-century Anonymous Second-century Anonymous

Muratorische Fragment (Zürich: Höhr, 1892).

26 Das Muratorische Fragment über die Bücher des neuen Testaments (Zürich: Höhr, 1892), 33.

27 In Analecta: Kürzere Texte zur Geschichte der alten Kirche und des Kanons, ed. E. Preuschen (Tübingen: Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 1910), 27–35; idem, “Zum Muratorischen Fragment,” ZWT 37 (1894): 223–32. 28 Das Muratorische Fragment und die monarchianischen Prologe zu den Evangelien (Bonn: A. Marcus, E. Weber, 1902; repr. Berlin: De Gruyter, 1933). 29 “L’auteur du Canon Muratorien,” RBén 21 (1904): 263. 30  “The Authorship of the Muratorian Canon,” The Expositor 7.1 (1906): 481–95. 31 “Melito the Author of the Muratorian Canon,” The Expositor 7.2 (1906): 214. 32 “The Codex Muratorianus,” JTS 8 (1907): 537–45, here: 539. 33 Analecta: Kürzere Texte zur Geschichte der alten Kirche und des Kanons, ed. E. Preuschen (Tübingen: J. C B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 1910). 34 “Die Zeit des Muratorischen Fragments,” ZKG 35 (1914): 360. 35 “Hippolytus, der Verfasser des Muratorischen Kanons,” NKZ 33 (1922): 417–36. 36 “Le Canon d’Hippolyte et le Fragment de Muratori,” RBén 42 (1933): 161–86; see also idem, “L’auteur du Canon de Muratori,” RBén 35 (1926): 83–88. 37 Die Entstehung der christlichen Bibel (Tübingen: Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 1968). 38 “Canon Muratori: A Fourth-Century List,” HTR 66 (1973): 1–41. 39  Everett Ferguson, “Canon Muratori: Date and Provenance,” in Studia Patristica xviii: Eighth International Congress on Patristic Studies, Oxford, Sept. 3–8, 1979, ed. Elizabeth A. Livingstone (Oxford: Pergamon, 1982), 677–83; idem, review of Muratorian Fragment, by Hahneman, JTS 44 (1993): 691–97. 40  The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance (Oxford: Clarendon, 1987). 41  P. Henne, “La datation du Canon de Muratori,” RB 100 (1993): 54–75; here: 71, 74, 75; idem, “Canon de Muratori: Orthographe et datation,” Archivum Bobiense 12–13 (1990–91): 289–302, here: 301–2. 42  The Muratorian Fragment and the Development of the Canon (Oxford: Clarendon, 1992). 43  “The Debate over the Muratorian Fragment and the Development of the Canon,” WTJ 57 (1995): 437–52.


Appendix A


Proposed Author

Robert M. Grant (1995) Joseph Verheyden (2003)45 Jonathan J. Armstrong (2008)46 Christophe Guignard (2015)47 44

Fourth-century Anonymous Second-century Anonymous Victorinus of Pettau Second-century Anonymous

 Review of Hahneman, Muratorian Fragment, CH 64 (1995): 638–40.  “The Canon Muratori: A Matter of Dispute,” in The Biblical Canons, ed. J. M. Auwers and H. J. de Jonge, BETL 163 (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2003), 487–556. 46  “Victorinus of Pettau as the Author of the Canon Muratori,” VC 62 (2008): 1–34. 47  “The Original Language of the Muratorian Fragment,” JTS 66 (2015): 596–624. 44 45

Appendix B

Two Letters by Antonio Maria Ceriani Antonio Maria Ceriani (1828–1907) was a priest and scholar who specialized in Syriac. Ordained in 1852, he was appointed in the same year as librarian of the catalogue of the Ambrosian Library. In 1855, he became a professor of oriental languages in the diocesan Major Seminary and from 1872 professor of paleography. From 1857 he was one of the doctors of the Ambrosian collection and in 1870 attained the title of prefect, a post he kept until his death in 1907. In 1861, Ceriani published the Assumption of Moses (also, Testament of Moses) – a Jewish work that survives in one poorly preserved sixth-century Latin palimpsest belonging to the library. In 1866, he published the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch and a Syriac translation of the fifth column of the Septuagint as preserved in Origen’s Hexapla. The introduction to Saverio Ritter’s article pays homage to Ceriani. Ritter begins by citing two letters that Ceriani, in his capacity as prefect, wrote in response to scholarly inquiries about the Fragment.1 In these letters, Ceriani describes his own work on the text, evidently in the final stages of publication. According to Ritter’s comments also provided and translated below, the letters betray a certain possessiveness over the evidence including the use of his position to guarantee priority of his own publication and to stifle or even stop scholarship on the text by other scholars. Fra le carte del compianto Monsignor Ceriani si trovano due minute di lettere, destinate la prima agli editori Letouzey et Ané di Parigi, l’atra a Mr. Levesque. Milano, 19 Giugno 1891. Ch.mi Signori, Volentieri mi presterei al loro desiderio, se lo potessi. Ma la direzione della Biblioteca ha già fatto riprodurre in fototipia le tre pagine del Canon Muratorianus e saranno pubblicate appena sarà compiuto il lavoro di illustrazione e stampa, già cominciato. Milano, 16 aprile 1895. M. R. Signore, La dimanda che Ella mi fa a nome del M. R. Vigouroux di lasciar fotografare il Canone Muratoriano pel Dictionnaire de la Bible mi era stata fatta già o qualche settimana da 1  Saverio Ritter, “Il frammento Muratoriano,” Rivista di archeologia 3 (1926): 215–63, here: 215–16.


Appendix B

Parigi stessa; ed io non posso rispondere che come allora, che la Biblioteca stessa ha già fatto riprodurre per la pubblicazione a sue spese in autotipia l’intero Canone Muratoriano, e che perciò io non potevo accordare il permesso. Alla persona venuta a dimandarlo ho anche mostrato le copie già tirate. Ella mi cita la facilità trovata a Londra, Berlino, Pietroburgo ed altrove: quale per lo meno la troverebbe anche qui, come lo dimonstrano tanti fatti precedenti, se si trattasse di un manoscritto non già preoccupato e in corso di pubblicazione. Ma in questo caso la regola commune è prior in tempore potior in jure: nè potrebbe onoratamente esservene altre. Poichè lo desidera, eccole il titolo che avrà la pubblicazione: Canon Muratorianus arte autotypica repraesentatus. Repraesentationem notis illustravit A. C. Queste note riguarderanno semplicemente le raschiature, le correzioni e le macchie del ms. Di commentari al Canone ne furono già scritti fin troppo. Non saprei però determinare ora quando il lavoro uscirà avendo ora, per incarico superiore un lavoro urgente e grande, che non mi permette la continuazione del primo ….

About these letters, Ritter comments: Da queste due lettere sono passata molti anni, e parecchi ne sono passata dal giorno che Monsignor Ceriani ha chiuso la sua nobile esistenza senza poter compiere la pubblicazione, che, con giustificata gelosia, aveva riservato a sè stesso. La Biblioteca Ambrosiana, che si sente solidale negli impegni assunti dai maggiori suoi, e desidera di adempirli almeno nel limite del possible, crede giunto il momento di mantenere la promessa dell’indimenticabile Prefetto, seguendo le direttive tracciate nella seconda delle sopracitate minute. Nella quale poi il periodo che termina alle parole “e le macchie del ms.,” era completato da alcune frasi che lo scrittore ha cancellate, credendole forse superflue, o piuttosto stimandole, nella sua grande modestia, una inutile indiretta lode all’opera propria: “press’a poco come quelle che già dava a Westcott per l’edizione che fece del Canone sul suo libro: A general survey of the history of the Canon of the New Test. 4th ed., 1875, p. 516.” Fra le carte di Monsignor Ceriani non sono state trovate finora delle note particolari relative al Canone, ma già quest’accenno al Westcott può avere una certa importanza; e maggior importanza hanno le note autografe, di cui Monsignor Ceriani stesso ha corredato abbastanza copiosamente il fac-simile che Tregelles ha premesso al proprio lavoro sul Canone Muratoriano. Così, oltre che seguire le direttive generali di Monsignor Ceriani, sarà possible in molti punti avere il suo autorevole, e possiam credere, definitivo guidizio. Tuttavia il momento in cui questa pubblicazione ha luogo, mi sembra consigli di dare al lavoro un ambito un po’ più vasto di quello ideato da Monsignor Ceriani pur evitando il nuovo commento, dal quale egli pareve rifuggire con sacro orrore, e per il quale, del resto, mancherebbe a me la necessaria competenza. Già prima della guerra europea gli studi attorno al frammento erano da tempo entrati in un periodo di stasi per aver raggiunto ormai un tal quale equilibrio: su alcuni punti si poteva credere di aver formulato la conclusione definitiva, su altri invece, le ipotesi rimanevano diverse ed anche opposte, ma nessuna di esse aveva per sè tale forza di argomenti da imporsi necessariamente alla scelta. Niente di nuovo ci hanno detto gli ultimi anni, nè sembra ci vogliano dire ora gli studiosi. Il momento sarebbe dunque opportuno per compiere opera di sintesi e di divulgazione. È quanto appunto intendo di fare col presente lavoro. Il quale – per raggiungere il suo scopo – mi pare debba svolgersi sulla traccia seguente: ridare la descrizione del Codice, in cui il frammento è contenuto, e la descrizione del frammento stesso; compilare la bibliografia possibilmente completa della pubblicazioni a cui il frammento ha dato origine; riassume-

Two Letters by Antonio Maria Ceriani


re le conclusioni raggiunte o le ipotesi avanzate in tali pubblicazioni circa l’autore, la lingua, il tempo, il luogo sia del frammento originale, che della copia conservata nel codice ambrosiano; dare la trascrizione del nostro frammento con le note lasciate da Monsignor Ceriani, ponendo a fronte la ricostruzione del testo, latino e greco, quale la possono suggerire le osservazioni degli studiosi; aggiungere da ultimo alcune note necessarie per la intelligenza e la giustificazione della lezione preferita. Questo lavoro è il primo che si pubblica in italiano intorno al frammento muratoriano: posssa non esser indegno di tale sua priorità! Possa sopratutto non essere indegno dell’augusta memoria di Monsignor Ceriani, il cui nome dovrà esser richiamato più di una volta in ispirito di riconoscenza in queste pagine, che vorrebbero essere un piccolo devoto contributo di integrazione alla grandissima opera sua.

English Translation: Among the papers of the late Mr. Ceriani are two short letters, the first intended for Letouzey et Ané publishers in Paris, the other for Mr. Levesque. Milan, 19 June 1891. Dear Sirs, I would gladly lend myself to their wish, if I could. But the management of the Library has already reproduced the three pages of the Canon Muratorianus in a phototype and they will be published as soon as the illustration and printing work, which have already been begun, are completed. Milan, 16 April 1895 Dear Sir, The request that you make to me on behalf of M. R. Vigouroux to allow the Muratorian Canon to be photographed for the Dictionnaire de la Bible had been made to me a few weeks ago by Paris itself; and I cannot answer that, as then, the Library itself has already had the entire Muratorian Canon reproduced for publication at its own expense and that therefore I could not grant permission. To the person who came to ask, I also showed the copies already printed. You mention to me the ease found in London, Berlin, Petersburg and elsewhere: which at least you would find here too, as so many previous facts demonstrate,2 if it were a question of a manuscript not already being dealt with and in the process of being published. But in this case the common rule is prior in tempore potior in jure: nor could there honorably be others. As you wish, here is the title that the publication will have: Canon Muratorianus arte autotypica repraesentatus. Repraesentationem notis illustravit A. C. These notes will simply cover the scorings, corrections, and marks on the manuscript. Too many commentaries on the Canon have already been written. However, I would not be able to determine now when the work will come out, having at present, by superior position, an urgent and great job, which does not allow me to continue the first …

2  S. P. Tregelles describes C. C. J. von Bunsen’s inability to obtain approval to make a facsimile, yet Ceriani’s generous welcome of Tregelles’s own such request in August 1857 (however he did not publish this work until 1868) (Canon Muratorianus, 8–9). Perhaps, as suggested by Ritter, Ceriani’s objection was to a publication in Italian of which he wanted his work to be first.


Appendix B

[Ritter writes:] Many years have passed since these two letters, and many have passed since the day that Monsignor Ceriani closed his noble existence without being able to complete the publication, which, with justified jealousy, he had reserved for himself. The Ambrosian Library, which feels solidarity in the commitments undertaken by its elders, and wishes to fulfill them at least as far as possible, believes that the time has come to keep the promise of the unforgettable prefect, following the directives outlined in the second of the aforementioned minutes. In [these minutes], the period ending at the words “and the stains of the ms.” was completed by some phrases that the writer deleted, perhaps believing them superfluous, or rather esteeming them, in his great modesty, useless indirect praise of his own work: “Almost like those he already gave to Westcott for the edition he made of the Canon in his book: A general survey of the history of the Canon of the New Test. 4th ed., 1875, p. 516.” Among the papers of Monsignor Ceriani no particular notes relating to the Canon have been found so far, although this mention of Westcott may already have some importance. Even more important are autographed notes which Monsignor Ceriani himself quite copiously supplied to the facsimile with which Tregelles introduced his work on the Muratorian Canon. Thus, in addition to following the general directives of Monsignor Ceriani, it will be possible in many points to have his [own] authoritative, and may we believe, definitive guidance. However, [given] the moment in which this publication takes place, it seems to me good advice to give the work a somewhat wider scope than that conceived by Monsignor Ceriani, while avoiding new comment, from which he seemed to shy away with sacred horror, and for which, after all, I would lack the necessary competence. Even before the European war, studies concerning the Fragment had long since entered a period of stasis, having reached a sort of equilibrium: on some points one could imagine having formulated a definitive conclusion, on others, however, the hypotheses remained diverse and even conflicting, none of them having in itself adequate strength of argument as to necessarily impose itself as a choice. We have been told nothing new in recent years, nor do scholars seem to want to tell us anything new now. The moment is, therefore, opportune to carry out work of synthesis and dissemination. This is precisely what I intend to do with this piece, which  – in order to achieve its purpose  – seems to me to take place following this outline: shore up the description of the Codex in which the Fragment is contained, and the description of the Fragment itself; compile the complete bibliography of the publications to which the Fragment gave rise; summarize the conclusions reached or the hypotheses advanced in these publications about the author, language, time, place of both the original Fragment and the copy preserved in the Ambrosian codex; give the transcription of our Fragment with the notes left by Monsignor Ceriani, comparing the reconstruction of the text, Latin and Greek, as the observations of the scholars suggest; [and] finally, add some notes necessary for the intelligence and justification of the preferred reading. This work is the first concerning the Muratorian Fragment to be published in Italian: may it not be unworthy of this distinction! Above all, may it not be unworthy of the august memory of Monsignor Ceriani, whose name must be recalled more than once in these pages with the spirit of gratitude, which hopes to be a small, devout complement to his great work.

Appendix C

Fragmentum Muratorianum Iuxta Codices Casinenses This appendix is drawn from Miscellanea Cassinese, 2:1–5. It is reproduced exactly as it appears. See discussion of the Benedictine Prologues in Chapter 5.

Fragmentum muratorianum iuxta codices casinenses In nomine Domini incipit prologu; * apostoli pauli. et nomina (Cod. C1)


(Cod. C3)


Ad Romanos.



Ad Corinthios.



Ad Galatas.



Ad Aephesios.



Ad Philipenses.



Ad Colosenses.



Ad Thesalonicenses.



Ad Timotheum.



Ad Titum.



Ad Philemonem.



Ad Aebreos.


Cod. 235 haec habet:  – Incipit argumentum in epistolis Pauli – Epistolae Pauli ad Romanos causa haec est. Ecclesiam e duobus populis, idest, de Iudaeis et Gentibus congregatam e requat meritis, ut causas eis auferat simultatis, quae de voluntate (Ed. voluptate) praelationis mutuae nascebantur. Ergo ut pace inter se et caritate iungantur, ostendit pares conditione; dum peccatis fuisse obnoxii comprobantur, queque (Ed. qui aeque) salutem per fidem Christi sint et gratiam consecuti. Nam neque Iudaris profuisse Legem incustoditam docet, nec Gentiles posse legis ignoratione (Ed ignorantiae) defendi; quos ratio et ad Dei notitiam perducere poterat, et ab omni vitae pravitate revocare. Scito qui legis, non expositionem continuam esse dictorum, sed subnotationes breves singulis versibus ac verbis appositas. Pauli Apostoli Epistolae numero sunt XIV. Ad Romanos ad Corinthios II. Ad Galathas ad Ephesios ad Philippenses ad Coloseses ad Thessalonicenses II. ad Timotheum II. ad Titum


Appendix C

ad Filemonem ad Hebraeos Omnis textus vel numerus epistolarum ad unius hominis perfectionem proficit. Cum Romanis ita agit Apostolus Paulus etc usque ad promtissime patiantur. Siglae Codd. Collatorum: I) C = Cod. Cas. 349 saec. XI inc. pag. 88–90: II) C1 = Cod. Cas 552 saec. XI des.pag. 56: III) C2 = Cod. Cas. 235 saec. XII inc. pag. 3. IV ) C3 = Cod. Cas. 535 saec. XI inc. pag. 287–288: *C1 = In nomine inc. epistole pauli inc. prologus – C3 Titulus rubro minio exaratus, erasus fuit. Manu vero saec. XII haec superscripta sunt: Pauli apostolic epistole numero sunt XIIII. Miscellanea Cassinese – Biblica

Fragmentum Muratorianum Iuxta Cod. Ambrosianum I. 101 sup. (ed. G. Kuhn Zürich 1892) Iuxta codices casinenses p. 3 Primo omnium Corinthis scisma heresis interdicens. Deinde Galathis circumcisionem, Romanis autem, ordinem scriptu rarum sed et praec.puum earum esse Xpistum intimans, pro lixius scripsit. De quibus singulis necesse est nobis disputare;  5 (p.  89) Cum ipse beatus apostolus Paulus sequens precessoris sui Iohannis ordinem, nonnisi nominatim, septem aecclesiis Scripsit ordine tali; Nam cum Romanis ita agit apostolus Paulus, quasi cum incipientibus qui post gentilitatem aut initia fidei sortiantur et perveniant ad spem vite aeternae; Multa de phi10 sicis rationibus insinuat, multa de scripturis divinis ad Corinthios prima consecutus, iam fidem non recte conversantes obiurgat; Ad Corinthios secunda contristatos quidem, sed emendatos ostendit; Galatas in fide ipsa peccantes, et ad Iudaismum declinantes, exponit; Ephesios quia incipiunt et custodiunt, laudat, quod ea quae ac ceperunt 15 servaverunt; Philippenses quod in quo crediderunt servantes, ad fructum pervenerunt. Colosenses collaudat quia velud ignotis scribit, et accepto nuntio ab Epafra, custodisse aevangelium gratulatur; Thesalonicenses, prima in opere et fide crevisse glo riatur. In secunda preterea, quod et persecutionem passi in fide Primo] C2 post verba, promptissime patiantur, parvo spatii Intervallo (fortasse pro titulo), relicto; ceteri vero tantum littera P. grandiori forma et exornata incipient. 2 ordinem] C2 ordine. 3 tali] C3 manu saec. XII in marg. Inf. adnotavit: Omnis textus vel numerus epistolarum ad unius hominis perfectionem proficit. Item eadem manus delevit seq. Nam. 4 incipientibus] C3 ead. m. corr. (abrasa litera c) insipientibus. C2 (abrasa litera s) corr. incipientibus. 5 phisicis] C3 C1 physicis C2 fisicis. 6 consecutus] C2 consecutos. 7 fidem] C3 C1 fide; C2 (abrasa m) fide. 8 emendatos] C3 mendatos At. p m. corr praeposito e. 9 Galatas! C2 Galathas. Item C1 p. m. superaddito h 10 velud] C1 velut 11 nuntio] C2 nunctio. 12 Epafra] C3 p.m. corr. Epaphra 13 Aevangelium] C3 C2 Evangelium. 1

Fragmentum Muratorianum Iuxta Codices Casinenses

Iuxta codices casinenses P. 5  5 10 15 20

perseveraverint, quos et sanctos appellat, ut illos qui in Iudeam Xpistum confessi, persecutiones fortiter tolerarunt; Ad Hebreos ad quorum similitudinem passi sunt; Thesalonicenses ut in mandatis perseverantes, persecutiones promptissime patiantur; Fertur etiam ad Laudicenses, aliam ad Alexandrinos, Pauli nomine ficte, ad heresim Marcionis, et alia plura quae in Aecclesia catholica recipi non oportet. Fel enim cum melle miscue non congruit; Arsinofa autem seu Valentini, vel Mitiadis, nihil in totum recipimus, qui etiam novum psalmorum librum Marcionis conscripserunt, una cum Basilide cive Asyano Catafrigum constitutorem; Verum Corinthis, et Thesalonicensibus licet pro correptionem uteretur, una (p. 90) tamen per omnem orbem tere, Aecclesia catholica diffusa esse dignoscitur; Triplex igitur Hebreorum esse dinoscitur lingua. Heber unde Hebrei dicti sunt. Ha(n)c lingua Moyses a Domino legem accepit et tradidit; Nam et Chaldeorum est alia, quam imperiti Iudei vel Syri, hebream fingunt, et ideo in multis male interpretis apud illos dissonant multa, apud nos autem auctor est beatus apostolus Paulus dicens, se Hebreum ex Hebreis, hoc est, de tribu Beniamin.

perseveraverint] C3 p. m. corr. perseveraverunt. 2 tolerarunt] C3 tollerarunt. 3ad Hebreos] C1 Haebreos C2 Ebreos. 4 aliam] C2 alium. 5 ficte] C2 ficta. 6Arsinofa] C3 Ars mofa. Item C2 Arsmofa. 7 Mitiadis] C3 Mitididis C2 Mi(ti)adis. 8 nihil] C1 nil C3, C2 nichil. 9 cive] C3 omiott. C2 sive. 10Asyano] C3, C1, C2, Asiano. 11correptionem] C1 correptione C3, C2 correctione 12 una] C1 una. 13 tere] C1, C2 terre; C3 terrae. 14 Aecclesia] C2 Ecclesia. 15 dignoscitur] C3, C1, C2 dinoscitur. 16 Hebreorum] C1 Haebreorum. 17 Hebrei] C1 Haebrei. 18 Ha(n)c lingua] Sic C abrasa litera n, C3 Hanc linguam, C2 Hanc lingua 19 imperiti] C3 inperiti. 20 hebream] C1 haebream. 21 apud] C3 aput. 22 Hebreum ex Hebreis] C3 Ebreum ex Ebreis, C2 Ebreum ex Hebreis, C1 Haebreum ex Haebreis. 23 Beniamin] C3, C1, et C referent versus Damasi de Sancto Paulo; Iamdudum Saulus procerum praecepta secutus etc. quos vide apud De Rossi, Inscriptiones christianae Tom. II. pag. 1


Appendix D

Muratori’s Latin Introduction to the Fragment Ludovico Antonio Muratori, “De Literarum Statu, neglectu, & cultura in Italia post Barbaros in eam invectos usque ad Annum Christi Millesimum Centesimum,” in Antiquitates italicæ mediiævi: sive dissertationes de moribus, ritibus, religione, regimine, magistratibus, legibus, studiis literarum, artibus, lingua, militia, nummis, principibus, libertate, servitute, fœderibus, aliisque faciem & mores italici populi referentibus post declinationem Rom. imp. ad annum usque MD, Tom. iii. (Mediolani: Ex typographia Societatis palatinæ, 1738–42), 851–56 (“Dissertatio Quadragesima Tertia,” coll. 809–880), text: 854–55. Cf. Elias A. Lowe, ed., Codices latini antiquiores: A Palaeographical Guide to Latin Manuscripts Prior to the Ninth Century: Part 3: Italy: Ancona–Novara (Oxford: Clarendon, 1938), 352; Maurice Geerard, Clavis patrum graecorum, vol. 1: Patres antenicaeni (Turnhout: Brepols, 1983), 1862.1 (851) 1Sed quando coepimus vulnera rimari literis inflicta, dum rudia saecula decurrerent, ne hoc quidem dissimulandum est, imperitissimos et indoctissimos homines crebrius quam antea fuisse adhibitos ad exscribendos Codices, quos propterea erroribus ac sordibus ad nauseam usque repletos intueare. 2Ex his non paucos prae manibus habui, et exemplum adferre juvat, quod non uno nomine, nisi mihi facile blandior, lucem exposcere videtur. 3Adservat Ambrosiana Mediolanensis Bibliotheca membranaceum Codicem, e Bobiensi acceptum, cujus antiquitas paene ad annos mille accedere mihi visa est. 4Scriptus enim fuit Literis majusculis et quadratis. 5Titulus praefixus omnia tribuit Johanni Chrysosomo, sed immerito. 6Mutilum in principio codicem deprehendi. 7Cap. IV. est de animantibus, atque ex his verbis incipit: Alae duo testamenta. 8In Ezechiel unumquodque duabus alis velabat os suum etc. 8Horum auctorem agnovi Eucherium Lugdunensem Lib. Formul. Spiritual. 9Sequitur fragmentum de Apostolis, infra mihi evulgandum. 10Tum Incipit de expositionem (ita ibi) diversarum rerum. In primis mandragora in Genesi, genus pumi simillimum parvo peponis speciem vel odore etc. 11Ita illic depravata sunt verba, excerpta e libro ejusdem Sancti Eucherii de Hebraic. Nomin. Interpret. 12Post alia sequitur de Matthaeo Evangelista. 13Orate autem ne fiat fuca vestra hieme vel sabbato; id est ne cum fuca fit, impedimentum patiamini. 14Post hanc Homiliam succedit altera de ultimo adventu Christi; ubi de mille annis in apocalypsi memoratis agitur. 15Tum Homiliae in illa verba: Nemo scit de die et hora illa. 15De tribus mensuris. De Petro apostolo. De reparatione Lapsi, quod opusculum novimus tributum Chrysostomo. 16Additur Fides Sancti Ambrosii Episcopi, quae incipit: Nos Patrem et Filium etc. sed post aliquot lineas reliqua desiderantur. 17Accedit altera Expositio Fidei Catholicae, cujus auctorem Charta lacerata non retinet. 1  On Cod. Ambr. I 101 sup. see Saverio Ritter, “Il frammento Muratoriano,” Rivista di archeologia 3 (1926): 215–63; Mirella Ferrari, “Il ‘Codex Muratorianus’ e il suo ultimo inedito,” Italia medioevale e umanistica 32 (1989): 1–51, esp. 2, 26–27, 34. Ferrari includes part of Muratori’s marginal note (20).


Appendix D


Fides Sancti Luciferi Episcopi. 19Deinde, Fides quae ex Nicaeno Concilio processit. Tamdem Incipit Fides Beati Athanasii. Fidis unius substantiae Trinitatis Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti etc. 21Ex eodem ergo Codice ego decerpsi fragmentum antiquissimum ad Canonem divinarum Scripturarum spectans. 22Nulli diligentiae peperci, ut ejus auctorem detegerem simulque rescirem, num hactenus editum fuerit. 23Nisi me fefellerunt oculi, aut complurium Librorum defectus, quem non semel doleo: nusquam deprehendi evulgatum, ac propterea spes mihi superest, fore ut libentius a Lectoribus accipiatur, ac praecipue quod antiquitatem redoleat summe venerabilem. 24Si conjecturam meam exerere fas est, in illam opinionem feror, tribuenda haec esse Cajo Ecclesiae Romanae Presbytero, qui sub Victore et Zephyrino Pontificibus, teste Photio in Bibliotheca, Codice XLVIII. hoc est qui circiter annum Christi CXCVI. floruit. 25Disputationem Caji istius disertissimi viri, habitam Romae temporibus Zephyrini adversus Proclum quemdam Cataphrygaram haeresis propugnatorem, memorat Eusebius Caesariensis, Ecclesiastic. Histor. Lib. 6. Cap. 20. in qua ille dum adversariorum in componendis novis Scripturis temeritatem et audaciam sugillat τῶν τοῦ ἱεροῦ Ἀποστόλου δεκατριῶν μόνων ἐπιστολῶν, μνημονεύει, τὴν πρὸς Ἑβραίους μὴ συναριθμήσας ταῖς λοιπαῖς. ἐπεὶ καὶ εἰς δεῦρο παρὰ Ῥωμαίων τισὶν οὐ νομίζεται τοῦ Ἀποστόλου τυγχάνειν: tredecim tantum divini Apostoli recenset Epistolas, eam quae ad Hebraeos inscripta est, cum reliquis non adnumerans. Sane haec Epistola etiamnum a quibusdam Romanis apostoli esse non creditur. 26Sanctus Hieronymus totidem fere verbis, de Cajo isto loquens in Libro de Scriptorib. Ecclesiastic. Cap. 60. reddidit sententiam Eusebii, nisi quod addit, disputationem a Cajo habitam sub Zephryrino Romanae urbis Episcopo, id est sub Antonino Severi filio; ac propterea secundum illum Cajus haec scripserit circiter Annum Vulgaris Epochae CCXII. 27Addit etiam de eadem Epistola: sed et apud Romanos usque hodie quasi Pauli apostoli non habetur, quum tamen Eusebius tantum scripserit apud quosdam Romanos. 28Photius quoque loco supra laudato auctor est, Cajum tredecim dumtaxat Beati Pauli Epistolas enumerasse, non recepta in censum quae est ad Hebraeos. 29Ille quoque haec ab Eusebio hausit. 30Ceterum non est hujus loci recensere, quibus auctoribus et rationibus in Canonem sacrarum Scripturarum merito recepta deinde ab omnibus fuerit Epistola ad Hebraeos, de qua idem Sanctus Hieronymus ad Evagrium scribens dicit: Quam omnes Graeci recipiunt, et nonnulli Latinorum. 31Ita quaestionem hanc jam diu versarunt ac illustrarunt viri doctissimi, ut rursus eamdem agitare velle, supervacaneum foret. 20

Illud quod ad me spectat, arripio. 33Hippolytus quoque Portuensis episcopus, Caji supra laudati aequalis, Photio teste, Codice 121. sensit Epistolam aad Hebraeos non esse Pauli Apostoli. 34Immo ne temporibus quidem Sancti Hieronymi Romana Ecclesia illam inter Canonicas Apostoli Pauli Epistolas receperat. 35Quum ergo eam omiserit Cajus Presbyter Romanus, Scriptor antiquissimus, ceteras recensens, veri videtur simile, eidem Cajo tribuendum esse fragmentum infra evulgandum, in quo praetermissam plane videas Epistolam ad Hebraeos. 36Accedit et alterum robustius argumentum. 37Memorat hic Scriptor celebrem Hermae Librum, titulo Pastoris inscriptum, his verbis: Pastorem verò Nuperrime Temporibus nostris in urbe Roma Herma conscripsit, sedenti Cathedrâ urbis Romae Ecclesiae Pio Episcopo fratre ejus. 38Jam inter eruditos constat, Hermam floruisse ad dimidium saeculi a Christo nato secundi. 39Et certe si tunc Romanam Cathedram tenuit Pius I. Papa, illius frater, is Librum Pastoris scripsisse dicendus est ciciter annum Christi CL. 40At nos supra vidimus, Cajum Romanum Presbyterum vixisse circiter annum CXCVI. et nihil obstat, quin antea haec scripserit. 41At quando fragmenti auctor testatur Hermam Nuperrime Temporibus nostris Librum Pastoris conscripsisse: quemnam opportuniùs 32

Muratori’s Latin Introduction to the Fragment


quàm eumdem Cajum fragmenti ipsius parentem fuisse conjicias? 42Tamdem scribit fragmenti auctor: Apocalypsim etiam Johannis et Petri, tantum recipimus, quam quidam ex nostris legi in Ecclesia nolunt. 43Recte haec in Caji tempora conveniunt Eusebius enim lib. 3. cap. 25 Apocalypsim Petri inter dubios quidem Libros recenset, non tamen abjicit veluti Haereticorum foetum. 44Eodem quoque testante, Clemens Alexandrinus eâdem Apocalypsi est usus, non secus ac Epistolâ Barnabae. 45Sozomenus pariter nos monuit Lib. 7 cap. 19. hanc apocalypsim in quibusdam Ecclesiis Palaestinae usque adhuc singulis annis semel legi. 46Temporibus etiam Caji ipsius circumferebatur Epistola spuria Pauli Apostoli ad Laodicenses, a Sancto Hieronymo et Theodoreto explosa, quam Marcion haeresiarcha in subsidium sui delirii adhibuit, uti nos docet Sanctus Epiphanius Haeresi 42. 47At praeter hanc ex ipso fragmento nun discimus, alteram Paulo suppositam fuisse, nempe ad Alexandrinos, cujus nescio an quisquam alius meminerit. 48Quum verò Apocalypsim Pauli, ab Augustino et Sozomeno memoratam, Scriptor hic nequaquam recenseat, confirmatur sententia Johannis Ernesti Grabii, qui in Spicilegio Patrum pag. 84. censuit erupisse hanc imposturam saeculo dumtaxat Ecclesiae Christianae quarto. 49Heic [sic] quoque videas memorari Librum Psalmorum a Valentino Haeresiarcha elaboratum. 50Unus Tertullianus, quod sciam, Lib. De Carne Christi, cap. 20. istos indicavit, scribens: nobis quoque ad hanc speciem Psalmi patrocinabuntur, non quidam Apostatae et Haeretici, et Platonici Valentini, sed sanctissimi et receptissimi Prophetae David. 51Quis vero fuerit Mitiades ille Haereticus, sive Miltiades, cujus est mentio in hoc fragmento divinent alii.52 Profectò non fuerit Miltiades Rhetora ab Eusebio ac Hieronymo laudatus, qui sub Antonino Commodo multa scripsit pro Catholica Ecclesia. 53Age verò jam proferamus Fragmentum ipsum e vetustissimo Codice Ambrosiano decerptum, atque illud eruditorum omnium examini subjiciamus, nullum demendo ex erroribus, quibus Librariorum imperitia scripturam saturavit atque foedavit, quamquam nihil ii obstent, quominus pretium rei intelligamus.” 54[Tunc

sequitur fragmentum ipsum; postea pergit Muratorius: – ]2


quot vulnera frustulo huic antiquitatis inflixerit Librariorum incuria atque ignorantia? 56Id ipsum aliis bene multis Libris accidisse noveris: quod ego experientiâ quoque complurium annorum perspectum habeo. 57Interrogabis autem, cur nihilo secius plerosque Codices ad nos venisse videamus a mendis, et certe a tanta deformitate liberos. 58Equidem puto, subsequentes Scriptores, prout quisque judicio atque eruditione pollebat, quum excribebant aut dictabant veterum libros, identidem extersisse ejusmodi sordes; atque hinc potissimum natam tantam Variarum Lectionum segetem, quae in conferendis antiquorum Libris deprehenditur, quum quisque aut divinando propria auctorum verba restitueret, aut ex ingenio suo suppleret. 59Sane inter eruditos praeferri consueverunt recentioribus Codices antiquiores; neque injuriâ. 60Quo enim propius ad fontem accedunt, eo etiam potiori jure censentur retinere mentem ac verba sincera sui auctoris. 61 Attamen sunt et recentiores Codices interdum, in quibus major quam in vetustis occurrit castigata lectio, sive quod ab optimis exemplaribus descripti fuerint, sive quod vir aliquis doctus errores ab apographo novo arcuerit sive sustulerit, quibus vetusta exemplaria scatebant. 62Nam quod est ad indoctos, vel suo tempore Sanctus Hieronymus ad Lucinium scribens, incusabat imperitiam Notariorum, Librariorumque incuriam, qui scribunt non quod inveniunt, sed quod intelligunt: et dum alienos errores emendare nituntur, ostendunt 2  Tregelles added this comment (Canon Muratorianus, 13); it does not appear in Muratori, Antiquitates italicae, 3:854.


Appendix D

suos. 63Alibi quoque eadem repetit sanctus ille vir. Sed numquam desiderati sunt eruditi viri, quorum curâ vitiatis Libris identidem succurrebatur.3

 Tregelles, Canon Muratorianus, 11–13.


Appendix E

English Translation of Muratori’s Introduction (851) 1But when we commence examining the wounds inflicted to literature while uncultured centuries were passing by, even this should not be concealed: namely, that, the most ignorant and unlearned men (more numerous than previously) were turning to the copying of codices, which, therefore, when you look at them, are full of errors and blunders to the point of nausea. I had quite a lot of these at hand, and it is helpful to publish a copy, which, unless I am easily deceived, apparently demands illumination for not being by a single name [i. e., with multiple authors]. The Ambrosian Library at Milan preserves a parchment codex, received from Bobbio, the antiquity of which appeared to me to approach almost a thousand years. 3

For it was written in majuscules and square letters.


A prefixed title attributes everything to John Chrysostom, but undeservedly.


I detected that the codex was defective at the beginning.


Chapter 4 is De animantibus, and it begins with these words: “The wings are the two testaments. In Ezekiel [1:23, cf. v. 1]1, ‘and each had two wings covering its mouth.’”2 7

I recognized the author of these words as Eucherius of Lyons, The Book of Spiritual Formulas. 8

A fragment about the apostles follows, to be published by me below.


Then begins De expositionem (as it is in this text [i. e., it should read expositione]) diversarum rerum: In primis mandragora in Genesi, genus pumi simillimum parvo peponis speciem vel odore etc. (“The mandrake, in Genesis [30:14–16], is a kind of fruit very similar to a small watermelon [gourd] in appearance or scent, etc.) 10

The text, drawn from the book by the same Saint Eucherius, On the Interpretation of Hebrew Names, was thus corrupt in this spot. After others, follows On Matthew the Evangelist: 11

Orate autem ne fiat fuca vestra hieme vel sabbato; id est ne cum fuca fit, impedimentum patiamini (“But pray that your flight does not happen in winter or on the Sabbath [i. e. Matt 24:20]. Let it not be with your flight that you suffer an obstacle …”)


1  V. 23 (Vulgate):  Sub firmamento autem pennæ eorum rectæ alterius ad alterum: unumquodque duabus alis velabat corpus suum, et alterum similiter velabatur. 2  N. B. Vulgate offers “body” as opposed to “mouth.”


Appendix E

14After this homily comes a second homily, De ultimu adventu Christi (The Final Coming of Christ), which concerns the thousand years mentioned in the Apocalypse. 15 Then homilies with these titles: Nemo scit de die et hora illa. De tribus mensuris. De Petro apostolo. De reparatione Lapsi. (No one knows about that day or that hour. On the three measurements. On Peter the Apostle. On the reparation of the lapsed.), a little work that we know has been attributed to Chrysostom. 16 Fides Sancti Ambrosii Episcopi (Faith of Saint Ambrose the Bishop) is added, which begins, Nos Patrem et Filium etc. (“We . . . Father and Son”) but after some lines the rest is missing. 17 There follows a second Expositio Fidei Catholicae (Exposition of the Catholic Faith), the first page (charta) of which does not retain the author because it has been torn.

Then, Fides Sancti Luciferi Episcopi (Faith of Saint Lucifer the Bishop).


Next, Fides quae ex Nicaeno Concilio processit (Faith which issued from the Nicaean Council).


Finally, Fides Beati Athanasii (Faith of the Blessed Athanasius) begins: Fidis unius substantiae Trinitatis Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti etc. (Faith of the one substance of the Trinity, Father and Son and Holy Spirit). 20

[Topic turns to the Fragment:] Therefore, I have excerpted from the same codex a very ancient fragment pertaining to the canon of divine scriptures.



spared no effort in order to ascertain its author and, at the same time, to learn whether it had been up to this point edited.


I am not deceived by my eyes – or by a lack of books (for which I do not once complain) – I have discovered it published nowhere else, and in that case, I am filled with hope that this [i. e., Fragment] will be rather more gladly received by readers, chiefly because it is redolent of venerable antiquity. If it is right to reveal my conjecture, I am brought to the opinion that these works must be attributed to Gaius, the presbyter of the church in Rome who, under the popes Victor and Zephyrinus, as attested by Photius in his Bibliotheca cod. 48, flourished circa 196 a. d.


25 Eusebius of Caesarea mentions in Church History 6.20 that the debate of Gaius, most eloquent of men, took place in Rome around the time of Zephyrinus against Proclus, a certain champion of the Cataphrygian heresy.3 In this [chapter], this one [Gaius] con-

3  N. B. Muratori refers to the heresy as “Cataphrygian” probably because he cites the initial lines of Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6.20.3 in Latin from Rufinus. Eusebius reports that Gaius, a priest at Rome, “mentions only thirteen epistles of the holy apostle [Paul], not including that to the Hebrews with the rest, for even to this day some at Rome do not consider it the apostle’s” (ET: Paul L. Maier). Although Eusebius regarded Paul as author of Hebrews, he acknowledges general difference of opinion in the West: “Paul was obviously the author of the fourteen letters, but some dispute the epistle to the Hebrews in view of the Roman church’s denial that it is the work of Paul” (Hist. eccl. 3.3; ET: Paul L. Maier, p. 94).

English Translation of Muratori’s Introduction


demns the recklessness and audacity of his opponents in composing new scriptures:4 [citing Eusebius’s Greek] “He recalls only thirteen epistles of the holy apostle [i. e., Paul], not numbering the Epistle to the Hebrews with the rest; because at that time among the Romans it was not considered to be the apostle’s”;5 [Latin translation offered next]: “He thinks that there are only thirteen epistles by the holy apostle, for he does not count the one inscribed to the Hebrews with the rest. To be sure, even now it is not believed by certain Romans that this epistle is by the apostle.” 26In nearly as many words Saint Jerome, when speaking about this Gaius in the book, On ecclesiastical writers, chapter 60, repeated the opinion of Eusebius, except that he added that the debate was held by Gaius “under Zephyrinus bishop of the city of Rome, that is under the son of Antoninus Severus”; and therefore, following him, Gaius would have written these things around the year 212 of the common era.

He [Jerome] also added about this same epistle [Hebrews]: “But even until today it not considered among the Romans as Paul the Apostle’s, because Eusebius still wrote only among certain Romans.”


After also citing the passage above, Photius writes: Gaius “only enumerates thirteen letters of the blessed Paul; he does not receive in his count that [letter] which is to the Hebrews.” 28


one also cites Eusebius.


it is not within the scope of this report to examine, by what authorities and for what reasons the Epistle to the Hebrews was thereupon rightly received by all into the canon of holy scriptures, about which the same Saint Jerome says when writing to Evagrius: “All Greeks receive it (i. e., epistola), but only some Latins.”


a long time now learned scholars have so discussed and illuminated this question that it would be useless to want to chase after it again [here]. 32That

thing staring at me in the face, I grab.


being also bishop of Portus, peer of the aforementioned Gaius, believed, according to Photius in cod. 121: “The Epistle to the Hebrews is not by the apostle Paul.” 34Rather,

even in the times of Saint Jerome the Roman church had not received that [text] (i. e., Hebrews) in the canonical epistles of the Apostle Paul.

35Therefore, because Gaius, Presbyter of Rome, a most ancient author, omitted it, while receiving the rest, it seems plausible that the Fragment published below, in which you may plainly see the Epistle to the Hebrews left out, should be attributed to Gaius. 4  Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6.20.3: “There has reached us also a dialogue of Caius, a very learned man, which was held at Rome under Zephyrinus, with Proclus, who contended for the Cataphyrgian heresy. In this he curbs the rashness and boldness of his opponents in setting forth new Scriptures. He mentions only thirteen epistles of the holy apostle, not counting that to the Hebrews with the others. And unto our day there are some among the Romans who do not consider this a work of the apostle.” ET: Arthur C. McGiffert in NPNF2 1:268. N. B., Zephyrinus (199–217 ce); Pius (140–155 ce). 5 Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Volume II: Books 6–10, trans. J. E. L. Oulton, LCL 265 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1932).

364 36There

Appendix E

is also another more robust argument.

37This writer mentions the celebrated book of Hermas, inscribed with the title, Of the Shepherd, with these words: “Hermas wrote the Shepherd most recently even in our own time in the city of Rome, when Pius his brother occupied the throne as devout bishop of the city of Rome.”

Now among scholars it is agreed that Hermas flourished in the first half of the second century after the birth of Christ.


And certainly, if at that time Pope Pius I held the Roman seat, his brother, it must be said, wrote the Shepherd circa 150 a. d. 39

But as we have seen above, Gaius the presbyter of Rome lived circa 196 a. d., and nothing prevents him from having written these things earlier. 40

But since the author of the Fragment attests that “Hermas wrote the book of the Shephered quite recently in our own times,” who, I ask, would you suppose is a more suitable author for the Fragment than the same Gaius? 41

Finally, the author of the Fragment writes: “We only receive the Apocalypses of John and Peter, which some from among us do not want to be read in church.” 42

43 Correctly, these things come together at the time of Gaius; for Eusebius in Book 3, Chapter 25 reckoned the Apocalypse of Peter among the spurious books, yet he does not discard it as a hatchling of the heretics. 44Also according to his testimony, Clement of Alexandria deployed the same Apocalypse, and just so the Epistle of Barnabas. 45Sozomen,

in like manner, reminded us in Book 7, Chapter 19 [about Hebrews] that this revelation “in certain churches of Palestine is read still up to now once, on one day a year [i. e., the Day of Preparation].” 46Even in the times of the Gaius himself, the spurious epistle of Paul the apostle to the Laodiceans was circulated, though it is rejected by Saint Jerome and Theodoret, because Marcion the heresiarch adduced it in support of his folly, as Saint Epiphanius in On Heresies 42 teaches us.

But, except for this, we now learn from the Fragment itself, that another letter was imputed to Paul, namely Ad Alexandrinos (Letter to the Alexandrians), of which I am ignorant whether anyone else makes mention.


And because this writer by no means approves the Apocalypse of Paul, which is mentioned by Augustine and Sozomen, the position of Johannis Ernesti Grabii [circa 1715] is confirmed, when he, in Spicilegium Patrum, page 84, judged that this falsification burst out only in the fourth century of the Christian Church. 48


might also see mentioned here the Book of Psalms created by Valentinus the heresiarch. 50One

Tertullian, as I may know, in his book entitled De carne Christi, chapter 20, has pointed to these [psalms] when he writes: they will protect us also from this kind of psalm,

English Translation of Muratori’s Introduction


not certain ones of the apostate and heretic and the Platonic Valentinus, but of the most holy and most acceptable prophet David. 51 Others may guess who the heretic Mitiades, or rather Miltiades, of whom mention is made in this Fragment.

Of course, it was not Miltiades the Rhetor, praised by Eusebius and Jerome, who under Antoninus Commodus wrote many things for the Catholic church.


Come then, let us present the Fragment itself taken from the most ancient Ambrosian codex, and let us subject it to the examination of all scholars, removing none of its errors, with which the ignorance of copyists has filled and sullied the text, although they in no way hinder us from understanding the value of the thing. 53

[Then follows the Fragment itself; afterwards Muratori continues:  – ]6


55 Have you seen how many wounds to this little piece of antiquity were inflicted by the negligence and ignorance of the copyists?7

6 Words

inserted. See Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, Canon Muratorianus, 13. 55–63 of this text as translated into Italian by Muratori’s nephew (Lodovico Antonio Muratori, Dissertazioni sopra le antichità italiane, 2nd ed., vol. 2.2, ed. and trans. Gian Francesco Soli Muratori [Rome: Presso gli eredi Barbiellini, 1755]) are as follows: “In questo picciolo pezzo di antichità abbiam veduto quanti errori sieno corsi per inavvertenza ed ignoranza de’ Copisti. Che lo stesso sia avvenuto a molti altri Codici, l’ho io colla sperienza di molti anni osservato. Ma onde è venuto, che la maggior parte di essi Codici son giunti a noi senza errori, o almen liberi da tanta copia di essi? Perchè a mio credere i susseguenti Scrittori, per quanto portava la loro Erudizione e giudizio, in iscrivere e dettare i Libri de gli antichi, di mano in mano gli andavano emendando: da che è poi nata quell’ abbondaza di Varie Lezioni, che in collazionare i vecchi diversi Codici ritroviamo, indovinando alcuni la mente e le parole de gli Autori, ed altri supplendo, come lor meglio pareva. Certamente da i Critici si sogliono preferire i più antichi Codici a i meno antichi; e con ragione, perchè quanto più si accostano al fonte, tanto più si crede, che ritengano la mente e le parole de gli Autori. Tuttavia ci son de’ meno antichi, ne’quali comparisce più corretto il testo, o sia perchè ricavati da migliori Codici, o perchè qualche dotta persona abbia emendato le precedenti copie. Perciocchè quanto a i Copisti ignoranti, anche a’ suoi tempi San Giromano scrivendo a Lucinio accusava imperitiam Notariorum, … Altrove egli ripete la medesima doglianza. Ma non sono mai mancati nomini eruditi, che col loro sapere e diligenza soccorrevano al bisogno de’ Libri: la qual verità io potrei confermare con vari esempli, ma ne basteran due.” ET: “In this small piece of antiquity, we have seen how many errors were run [incurred] by the inadvertence and ignorance of the copyists. That the same has happened to many other codices, I have, with the experience of many years, observed. But is it so that most of these codices have come to us without error, or at least free from so many of them? Because it is my belief that the subsequent writers, as far as their erudition and judgment were concerned, in enrolling and dictating the books of the ancients, from hand to hand, were editing: from that was born that abundance of various readings, which in collations of the old different codices we find, guessing some of the minds and words of the authors, and others substituting, as it seemed best. Certainly, the critics prefer the older codices to the less ancient ones; and with reason, because the closer they are to the source, the more they believe that they retain the mind and the words of the [original] authors. However, there are some less ancient [texts], in which the [reading] appears more correct, either because it is obtained from better codices, or because some learned person has corrected the previous copies. As for the ignorant copyists, even in his day, St. Jerome writing to Lucinius, accused: imperitiam Notariorum, etc. … Elsewhere he repeats the same grievance. But there has never been a lack of learned men who, with their knowledge 7 Lines


Appendix E

56You might know that the same thing has happened to a good many other books: because I also have observed through the experience of many years. 57 You will ask, moreover, why in a similar way we see very many codices come [down] to us free from faults and indeed from such great deformity?

I submit, for my part, that subsequent writers – as each was able by his judgment and learning – when they were copying or dictating the books of the ancients, repeatedly expunged such filth; and hence, so great a crop of diverse readings was created, which is detected in comparing the books of the ancients, since each scholar either recovered the authors’s own words by surmising or supplied them from his own intellect. 58

Of course, older codices are customarily preferred to later ones among scholars; and not unfairly.


For the nearer to the source they come, the stronger the reason is for supposing that they capture the mind again and unvarnished words of its author.


6 Nevertheless, now and then there are also more recent codices, in which an emended reading turns out to be greater than in the ancient [codices], whether because they were copied from the best exemplars, or some learned man fended off – or removed – the errors abounding in the old exemplars from the new copy. 62For

when writing to Lucinius about the unlearned even of his own time, Saint Jerome used to complain about the ignorance of secretaries and the negligence of scribes who write not what they come upon, but what they grasp; and, while they strive to correct the errors of others, they bring attention to their own. This holy man [i. e., Jerome] also repeats the same things elsewhere. Still, there has never been a complete absence of scholars who repeatedly turned their attention to the rescue of corrupt books. 63

and diligence, succeeded to the need of books: which truth I could confirm with various examples, but two will be enough.”

Appendix F

Sermo de Abraham (Ambr. I 101 sup., fols. 72r–73r) Clare K. Rothschild and Frances Spaltro 1. Sollicitus auditor omnium fidelium principem cerne, et quo ordine Deo placuerit ex ipsa historiae narratione condisce. (2) Abraham igitur a iuventute, dum Deo sedulum praestaret obsequium, fructum huius sancti servitii hunc quaesivit, ut filium de sterilitate susciperet: (3) denique senectus illum proavum fecerat iuventutis, et Deus illum patrem fecit infantiae. (4) Et quia cottidie hic adorabat, qui semper regnat in caelis, filium consequi meruit, quem amaret in terris. (5) In ipso spes posteritatis, in ipso erat fructus sedulae servitutis ostensus, in ipso suae fidei adtendebat affectum, in ipso tota promissionum gaudia adtendebat. (6) Hic erat senectutis filius, hic amicus et carus.

1. Engaged listener, behold the first of all the faithful, and learn from the very record of history in what order he pleased God. (2) Abraham, therefore, from his youth, while he displayed zealous allegiance to God, sought this fruit of this holy servitude, that he might acquire a son out of barrenness. (3) Thereupon, old age had made that man a forbearer of youth, and God made that man the father of an infant. (4) And since he worshipped daily the one who reigns forever in the heavens, he deserved to obtain a son, whom he could love on the earth. (5) In him there had been revealed the hope of posterity; in him there had been revealed the fruit of his zealous servitude; in him he strove for the disposition of his faith; in this one he strove for all the delights of the promises. He was a son of old age, here was a friend and a beloved one.

2. Sed iste, in quo tota summa senioris hominis consistebat et paternus totus incumbebat affectus, subito paternis manibus occidi praecipitur et Deo offerri sacrifìcium impetratur. (2) Novum praecepti genus est: qui punit homicidium hominis, imperat homicidium; et qui laedentem non fert, occidentem spectat. (3) In angusto posita est perfecta iustitia. Impietatem imperat qui totus est pietas, et mutat leges ut fìdei1 animus conprobetur. (4) Occupatus in fìlii amore totus mentis affectus contra Dei amorem in statera suspenditur, ut quantum filium tantum Deum diligere conprobetur. (5) Denique affectum carnis exclusit et divinum praeceptum accepit; et gladium arripuit, puniturus filium ne obtemperans esse desinat et incipiat esse contemptor. (6) Non est enim impium quod divino ore

2. But this one [Isaac], in whom consisted the sum total of the old man and in whom his entire paternal feeling was invested, is suddenly ordered to be slain at his father’s hands and offered as a sacrifice to God. (2) This is a new kind of command: He who punishes the murder of a human being commands a homicide; and he who does not condone an offender observes him as he commits murder. (3) Perfect justice is situated in a tight place. He who is perfectly pious, commands an impious act and changes the laws so that the spirit of trust may be confirmed. (4) Abraham’s entire state of mind, filled with love for his son, hangs in the balance against his love for God, so that he may be shown to love God as much as his son. (5) In the end, he rejected the feeling for the flesh and accepted the divine order: He snatched up a sword so as to punish his son, lest he cease to be obedient and begin to be a [i. e., God’s] despiser. (6) For what is spoken by the divine

1  A key word for this sermon in which it seldom denotes faith, but rather something closer to the loyalty or trust that one pledges.


Appendix F

dicitur, et licet scelus sit occidere filium, sed Deum scelestius non audire.

mouth is not called unjust, and although it may be a crime to kill one’s son, it is a worse crime to disobey God.

3. «Quid agis, o Abraham? quo pergis cum filio, ferens gladium quo interficias, portans ignem quo uras?» – (2) «Si credidi, inquid, cum filio meo incolumis compariter revertar. (3) De Deo enim securus sum, quia non potest amare quod damnat. (4) Sed, ut ostendam vobis plus Deum amare quam filium, ad officium parricidii laetus accedam. (5) Imperium enim Dei amplius quam unici filii amplector affectum. (6) Non est acerbum imperium quod Dei ore dictatur. (7) Quicquid imperaverit iustum est. (8) Ad officium parricidii hilaris plane et non tristis accingar. (9) Nihil enim a me petit meum, qui recipit suum. (10) Agam gratias, quia accepi, dum peterem. (11) Reddam cum gratia quod cum rogarem accepi, et quem dari mihi credidi promittenti, gratuler me reddere petenti». (12) O insigne praeconium fidei! (13) O cunctis saeculis admirandum exemplum! (14) Conmendatum sibi heredem fides valida revocat, et duo officia in subole Deo exhibet servitutis: (15) patris implet officium unicum diligendo, sacerdotis officium hoc quod nimis diligit offerendo.

3. “What are you doing, Abraham? Where are you going with your son, bringing a sword to kill and carrying firewood to burn?” (2) “If I trust [God],” he said, “I will come back safely together with my son. (3) From God, I am safe because He cannot love what He damns. (4) But in order to show you that I love God more than my son, I would happily approach the task of parricide. (5) For I embrace the command of God more than the love for my only son. (6) It is not a bitter command which is spoken by the mouth of God. (7) Whatever He commands is just. (8) Let me be openly cheerful at the duty of parricide and not saddled with sorrow. (9) God seeks nothing of my own from me; he takes what is his own. (10) Let me give thanks because I received when I asked. (11) Let me return with gratitude that which I received when I asked, and let me take delight that I am returning to him when he asks, the one whom I believed was given to me when I made a promise.” (12) O, amazing pronouncement of faith! (13) O, example to be admired in every age! (14) Strong loyalty summons back the heir entrusted to him, and exhibits servitude to God by fulfilling two duties: (15) the duty of a father by loving only one2 and the duty of a priest by offering back that which he loves exceedingly much.

4. Parantur ligna, parantur ignes, paratur et gladius. (2) Contendunt inter se duo signa virtutum, excitabatur fides: decipi non potuit, sed probari. (3) Hostia praeparabatur pro hostia et sacrifìcium non refunditur sed mutatur. (4) Prius tamen quam ad summam certaminis veniretur, interrogat vox prolata infantiae, paterna viscera his verbis concutit inquirendo: (5) «Ecce, inquid, ligna, ecce ignes, ecce gladius. Ubi est ovis quam immolaturus es?» (6) Quem non vox ista percuteret, cuius vel extranei animum non feriret? (7) De sacrificio sacrifìcandus consulit et ipsa victima interrogat sacerdotem. (8) Dantur tamen in praesenti filio posito de futuro responsa et efficitur propheta in domino, qui sacrifìcium exhibebat in servo. (9) «Deus,

4. The wood is ready, the fire is ready, even the sword is ready. (2) Two signs of virtue contend with one another; faith was aroused. It cannot be deceived but tested. (3) An offering was prepared in place of an offering3 and the sacrifice may not be poured back. (4) Before he arrives at the climax of the test, the voice of the child asks and, by inquiring, jolts the father’s innermost parts with these words: (5) “Behold,” he said, “the wood. Behold, the fire. Behold, the sword. Where is the sheep which you are going to burn?” (6) Whom would this voice not have pierced through, or is there anyone whose mind – even a stranger’s – it would not assail? (7) The one who is to be sacrificed deliberates about the sacrifice and the victim himself questions the priest. (8) Nevertheless, responses to the son set down in the present are given concerning the future and he becomes a prophet in the Lord, presenting

2 Filium

might be missing after unicum.  Wordplay: hostia … hostia


Sermo de Abraham (Ambr. I 101 sup., fols. 72r–73r)


inquid, providebit sibi ovem ad holocaustum, fili». (10) Quis non cernat in hac responsione domini Iesu Christi sacrifìcium praedicatum? (11) Ipse enim est agnus immaculatus in crucis sacrifìcium immolatus.

a sacrifice in the manner of a slave.4 (9) “God,” he said, “will provide himself a sheep for the sacrifice, my son.” (10) Who would not discern in this response a foretelling of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ? (11) For the spotless lamb was himself immolated in the sacrifice of the cross.

5. Inponit tamen in ara sacrifìcium, illum se aestimans, quod adduxerat, feriturus. (2) Erigitur manus, stat in gladio mors, libratum vulnus pendet in iugulum: nec qui feriebatur timuit, nec qui feriebat expavit. (3) Pendet in suis libraminibus dextra iam armata ut feriat, quae feriret, nisi «Parce, parce» dominus de caelo clamasset. (4) Opponitur gladio aries et sacrifìcium pro sacrifìcio inmolatur. (5) Sic factum est ut fides devota hostias redderet et salvam, quam adduxerat, hostiam revocaret. (6) Unde ostenditur non ideo iussisse dominum ut fieret, sed ideo iussisse ut probaret hominis voluntatem: (7) Deo5 enim effectus rerum in sola voluntate consistit, perfecte aliquid volens se fecisse.

5. Nevertheless, he places his sacrifice on the altar, supposing that he would strike him down because he had led him up there. (2) His hand is raised, death resides in the sword, a wound hangs balanced over the neck: neither did the one who was being struck take fright, nor did the one who was striking tremble. (3) The right hand hangs in its balances armed to strike and would have struck if the Lord had not cried out from the heavens, “Spare [him], spare [him]!” (4) A ram is placed beneath the sword and a victim is killed in place of a victim. (5) And so it happened: devout faith exchanged the victims and called back to safety the victim it had brought. (6) From this, it is revealed, that the Lord gave this command not so that it would be done, but he gave this command so that he could test human will. (7) For, to God, the accomplishment of actions exists in the will alone, that [only] by wishing something perfectly, he has accomplished it.

6. Extendamus nunc aciem ad secreta mysterii et videamus locum illum in quo legimus Deum hominem ad suam imaginem et similitudinem condidisse. (2) In omnibus enim sanctis Deus suam imaginem relevare dignatur, cum aut praeterita aut praesentia aut futura sanctorum operibus pingi permisit, ut, sicut in illis imaginis dignitas, sic in Deo dignitas conprobetur. (3) Lignum sibi Isaac portat, sacrificandus in ara; et crucem sibi Christus baiulat, suspendendus in ligno. (4) Abraham pater filio unico non pepercit, et tamen, cum mortali filio non parceret, et filium viventem accepit. (5) Deus vero inmortalis filium inmortalem pro mortalibus tradidit morti. (6) Ne enim nos occideremur, suum filium permisit occidi; et, ne nostri filii carnifìcibus caederentur, suum unigenitum sacrificari

6. Let us now direct our attention6 to the secret mysteries and consider that passage in which we read that God created man in his likeness and image. (2) For in all sacred matters God deigns to reveal his image, whenever He permitted it to be depicted in the works – past, present, or future – of His saints so that just as the honor of his image is shown in them, so its honor may be shown in God. (3) About to be sacrificed on the altar, Isaac carried the wood himself; and about to be suspended on wood, Christ bore the burden of the cross himself. (4) Abraham, the father, did not spare his only son, and never­theless, because he does not spare his mortal son, received a living son. (5) For the sake of all mortals, however, the immortal God traded his immortal son to death. (6) That is to say, in order that we would not perish, He permitted His own son to die. In order that our sons would not be slaughtered by the executioners, He permitted his

 The author is fond of dyads: here it is dominus-servus (“master-slave”).  N. B. the alliterative crescendo of ideo, ideo, Deo. 6 Acies, “sharpness, sharp edge.” By giving readers or listeners a sword-like focus, the author (rhetorically) makes each an ‘Abraham.’ 4 5

370 permisit; (7) et, ne humanus sanguis terram pollueret, sui filii voluit sanguinerai fundi, qui ab omni nos pollutione mundaret et omnia, quae sunt in imagine gesta, in veritate et perficeret: (8) ipsi gloria et imperium in saecula saeculorum. Amen.7

7 Ferrari,

Appendix F only begotten son to be sacrificed. (7) So that human blood would not pollute the earth, the blood of His only begotten son flowed out, which cleanses us of every defilement and perfects in truth all deeds done in His image. (8) To this one, be glory and power8 forever and ever. Amen.

“Il Codex Muratorianus,” 48–51.  Imperium in its sense of “command” referring back to God’s command to Abraham.


Appendix G

Synopsis of Reconstructions of a Hypothetical Greek Urtext Below I offer a line-by-line horizontally synoptic presentation of the Greek reconstructions of the Muratorian Fragment by Ritter, Zahn, Lightfoot (where available), Hilgenfeld, and Bötticher (Lagarde). The first line contains my own, followed by Hans Lietzmann’s (L) reconstructed Latin text without alterations and follows the linebreaks as they appear in manuscript.1 Support for various individual readings is not included but may be located in the published edition of each version (see below). Lightfoot’s metrical version (thirty-one verses only) does not track perfectly. I have reproduced the versions exactly as they are given, acknowledging only obvious typographical errors with sic. Sources and sigla are as follows beginning with the most recent: R (Ritter) = Saverio Ritter, “Il Frammento Muratoriano,” Rivista di archeologia Cristiana della pontificia commissione di archeologia sacra, Roma 3 (1926): 215–63; the Greek reconstruction, based on Kuhn and Zahn, appears on 246–54. Z (Zahn) = Theodor Zahn, Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons, 2 vols. (Erlangen: Deichert, 1890), 1:1–143, here: 140–43. Also in Gottfried Kuhn, Das Muratorische Fragment über die Bücher des Neuen Testaments (Zürich: Höhr, 1892), 109 fols. L (Lightfoot) = J. B. Lightfoot (Dunelm), “The Muratorian Fragment,” The Academy 36 (September 21, 1889), 188; idem, The Apostolic Fathers (London: Macmillan, 1889) 1.2:408–11 (ll. 29–31, 34–45, 63–68, 73–80, 84–85 only). H (Hilgenfeld) = A. Hilgenfeld, Historisch-kritische Einleitung in das Neue Testament (Leipzig: Fues, 1875), 97–99. B (Paul Bötticher, aka Paul Anton de Lagarde) = Paul Bötticher, “Versuch einer Herstellung des Canon Muratorianus,” Zeitschrift für die gesammte lutherische Theologie und Kirche 10 (1854): 127–29; in Christian J. Bunsen, Analecta Ante Nicaena, vol. 1, Reliquiae literariae, Christianity and Mankind 5 (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1854), 142–43. l. 1


quibus tamen interfuit, et ita posuit. quibus tamen interfuit et ita posuit [ἐνί]οις μέντοι παρεγένετο καὶ οὕτω τέθειται. [ἐνί]οις μέντοι παρεγένετο καὶ οὕτω τέθειται.

1  Lietzmann, Das Muratorische Fragment und die monarchianischen Prologue zu den Evangelien (Kleine Texte, i; Bonn, 1902; Berlin, 21933), 5–11. The two Latin reconstructions are similar; both are included to give readers immediate access to their minor variations.


l. 2

l. 3

l. 4

l. 5

l. 6

l. 7

l. 8

Appendix G L H B

– οἷς μέντοι παρῆν, καὶ οὕτως ἔθηκεν. οἷς δὲ παρῆν καὶ οὕτω ἔθηκεν.


Tertium evangelii librum secundum Lucan Tertium evangelii librum secundum Lucam Τρίτον εὐαγγελίου βιβλίον, τὸ κατὰ Λουκᾶν, Τρίτον εὐαγγελίου βιβλίον, τὸ κατὰ Λουκᾶν – Τρίτον εὐαγγελίου βιβλίον κατὰ Λουκᾶν. τρίτον εὐαγγελίου βιβλίον κατὰ Λουκᾶν,


Lucas iste medicus post ascensum Christi, Lucas iste medicus, post ascensum Christi Λουκᾶς ὁ ἰατρός, μετὰ τὴν τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἀνάληψιν Λουκᾶς ὁ ἰατρός, μετὰ τὴν τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἀνάληψιν – Λουκᾶς ἐκεῖνος ὁ ἰατρός μετὰ τὴν τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἀνάληψιν. Λουκᾶς ἐκεῖνος ὁ ἰατρὸς μετὰ τὴν Χριστοῦ ἀνάληψιν.


cum eum Paulus quasi ut iuris studiosum cum eum Paulus quasi litteris studiosum Παύλου αὐτὸν ὡσὰν φιλαπόδημον Παύλου αὐτὸν ὡσὰν φιλαπόδημον – ἐπεὶ αὐτὸν ὁ Παῦλος ὡσεὶ δευτεραγωνιστὴν. ἐπεὶ αὐτὸν Παῦλος ………*)2 δεύτερον.


secundum adsumsisset, nomine suo secum adsumpsisset, nomine suo συμπαραλαβόντος, τῷ ἑαυτοῦ ὀνόματι. συμπαραλαβόντος, τῷ ἑαυτοῦ ὀνόματι. – προσελάβετο, τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ προσέλαβε, τῷ ἑαυτοῦ ὀνόματι


ex opinione conscripsit; dominum tamen nec ipse ex opinione conscripsit, dominum tamen nec ipse καθεξῆς συνέγραψεν. τὸν γε μὴν κύριον οὐδ’ αὐτὸς. καθεξῆς συνέγραψεν. τὸν γε μὴν κύριον οὐδ’ αὐτὸς – καθὼς ἔδοξε συνέγραψε. τὸν μέντοι κύριον οὐδὲ αὐτὸς. ἐκ συνόψεως συνέγραψεν. τὸν δὲ κύριον οὐδὲ οὗτος,


vidit in carne, et ideo prout assequi potuit vidit in carne, et ideo prout assequi potuit ἑώρακεν ἐν σαρκί. καὶ οὗτος καθάπερ παρακολουθεῖν ἐδύνατο, ἑώρακεν ἐν σαρκί. καὶ οὗτος, καθάπερ παρακολουθεῖν ἐδύνατο, – εἶδεν ἐν σαρκί. καὶ διὰ τοῦτο, καθὼς παρακολουθεῖν ἐδύνατο, εἶδεν ἐν σαρκὶ. καὶ αὐτὸς, ὡς ἐπικαταλαμβάνειν ἠδύνατο.


ita et a nativitate Iohannis incipit dicere. ita et a nativitate Iohannis incipit dicere. οὕτω καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰωάννου γενέσεως ἄρχεται λέγειν

 B: semovere


Synopsis of Reconstructions of a Hypothetical Greek Urtext

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οὕτω καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰωάννου γενέσεως ἄρχεται λέγειν. – οὕτως καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰωάννου γενέσεως ἤρξατο λέγειν. οὕτω καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰωάννου γενέσεως ἤρξατο λέγειν,


Quartum evangeliorum Iohannis ex discipulis Quartum evangeliorum Iohannis ex discipulis. Τὸ τέταρτον τῶν εὐαγγελίων Ἰωάννου ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν. Τέταρτον τῶν εὐαγγελίων Ἰωάννου τοῦ ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν. – Τὸ τέταρτον τῶν εὐαγγελίων Ἰωάννου ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν. Τὸ τέταρτον τῶν εὐαγγελίων. Ἰωάννης [εἷς] ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν


cohortantibus condiscipulis et episcopis suis cohortantibus condiscipulis et episcopis suis οὗτος προτρεπόντων αὐτὸν τῶν συμμαθητῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐπισκόπων, οὗτος προτρεπόντων αὐτὸν τῶν συμμαθητῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐπισκόπων – προτρεπόντων τῶν συμμαθητῶν καὶ τῶν ἐπισκόπων αὐτοῦ παρακαλούντων τῶν συμμαθητῶν καὶ ἐπισκόπων αὐτοῦ,


dixit: conieiunate mihi hodie triduo et quid dixit “Conieiunate mihi hodie triduo, et quid εἶπεν· «συννηστέυσατέ μοι σήμερον ἡμέρας τρεῖς, καὶ ὅ τι εἶπεν· «συννηστεύσατέ μοι σήμερον ἡμέρας τρεῖς, καὶ ὅτι – εἶπε Συννηστεύσατέ μοι τριήμερον, καὶ εἶπε· συννηστεύετέ μοι σήμερον τρεῖς ἡμέρας , καὶ ὅ,


cuique fuerit revelatum, alterutrum cuique fuerit revelatum, alterutrum ἂν ἑκάστῳ ἀποκαλυφθῇ ἀλλήλοις ἂν ἑκάστῳ ἀποκαλυφθῇ ἀλλήλοις – ὃ ἂν ἑκάστῳ ἀποκαλυφθῇ ἀλλήλοις ἡμῖν τι ἑκάστῳ ἀποκαλυφθῇ ἑκάτερον ἡμῖν


nobis enarremus. eadem nocte revenobis enarremus.” eadem nocte reve ἐζηγησώμεθα.» τῇ αὐτῇ νυκτὶ ἀπεκαλύφθη ἐξηγησώμεθα. τῇ αὐτῇ νυκτὶ ἀπεκαλύφθη – ἐξηγησώμεθα. τῇ αὐτῇ νυκτὶ ἀπεκαλύφθη διηγώμεθα. τῇ αὐτῇ νυκτὶ ἀπεκαλύφθη


latum Andreae ex apostolis ut, recognoslatum Andreae ex apostolis, ut recognos Ἀνδρέᾳ ἐκ τῶν ἀποστόλων, ἵνα ἀνακρινοντων Ἀνδρέᾳ ἐκ τῶν ἀποστόλων, ἵνα ἀνακρινοντων – Ἀνδρέᾳ τῷ ἐκ τῶν ἀποστόλων, ἵνα ἀναγνωριζόντων Ἀνδρέᾳ [ἑνὶ] ἐκ τῶν ἀποστόλων, ὅτι ἀναγνωριζόντων


centibus cunctis, Iohannes suo nomine centibus cunctis Iohannes suo nomine πάντων ὁ Ἰωάννης τῷ ἰδίῳ ὀνόματι πάντων ὁ Ἰωάννης τῷ ἰδίῳ ὀνόματι



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Appendix G L H B

– πάντων Ἰωάννης τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ πάντων Ἰωάννης τῷ αὐτοῦ ὀνόματι


cuncta describeret. et ideo licet varia sincuncta describeret. et ideo, licet uaria sin τὰ πάντα καταγράψῃ. Καὶ διὰ τοῦτο, εἰ καὶ διάφοροι τὰ πάντα καταγράψῃ. Καὶ διὰ τοῦτο, εἰ καὶ διάφοροι – πάντα ἀναγράψαι. καὶ διὰ τοῦτο εἰ καὶ διάφοροι τὰ πάντα ἀναγράψει. καὶ διὰ τοῦτο, εἰ καὶ διαφόρους


gulis evangeliorum libris principia gulis evangeliorum libris principia ἑκάστῳ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου βιβλίῳ παραδίδονται ἀρχαί, ἑκάστῳ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου βιβλίῳ παραδίδονται ἀρχαί, – ἑκάστοις τοῖς τῶν εὐαγγελίων βιβλίοις ἀρχαὶ διδάσκονται, καθ᾽ ἓν ἕκαστον τῶν εὐαγγελικῶν βιβλίων ἀρχὰς ὑφηγοῦνται,


doceantur, nihil tamen differt credendoceantur, nihil tamen differt creden ὅμως δ’ οὐδὲν διαφέρει ὅμως δ’ οὐδὲν διαφέρει – οὐδὲν μέντοι διαφέρει οὐδὲν μέντοι


tium fidei, cum uno ac principali spiritu detium fidei, cum uno ac principali spiritu de τῇ τῶν πιστευόντων πίστει, ἐπειδὴ ἑνὶ καὶ ἡγεμονικῷ πνεύματι τῇ τῶν πιστευόντων πίστει, ἐπειδὴ ἑνὶ καὶ ἡγεμονικῷ πνεύματι – τῇ τῶν πιστευόντων πίστει, ἐπεὶ τῷ ἑνὶ καὶ ἡγεμονικῷ πνεύματι τῇ τῶν πιστευόντων διαφέρει πίστει, ὅτι ἑνὶ καὶ ἀρχικῷ πνεύματι


clarata sint in omnibus omnia: de nativiclarata sint in omnibus omnia: de nativi δεδήλωται ἐν τοῖς πᾶσιν πάντα τὰ περὶ τῆς [τοῦ κυρίου] γενέσεως, δεδήλωται ἐν τοῖς πᾶσιν πάντα τὰ περὶ τῆς [τοῦ κυρίου] γενέσεως, – δεδήλωται ἐν πᾶσι πάντα περὶ τῆς γενέσεως, ἐφανερώθη ἐν πᾶσι τὰ πάντα τὰ περὶ τῆς γενέσεως,


tate, de passione, de resurrectione, tate, de passione, de resurrection, περὶ τοῦ πάθους, περὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως, περὶ τοῦ πάθους, περὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως, – περὶ τοῦ πάθους, περὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως, περὶ τοῦ πάθους, περὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως,


de conversatione cum discipulis suis, de conversatione cum discipulis suis περὶ τῆς μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτῶν ἀναστροφῆς περὶ τῆς μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ ἀναστροφῆς –

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περὶ τῆς μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐ